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A Geographical View of the Province of Upper Canada
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A Geographical View of the Province of Upper Canada
A geographical view of the Province of Upper Canada and promiscuous remarks on the government, in two parts, with an appendix : containing a complete description of the Niagara Falls and remarks relative to the situation of the inhabitants respecting the war, and a concise history of its progress to the present day.
A geographical view of the Province of Upper Canada and promiscuous remarks on the government, in two parts, with an appendix : containing a complete description of the Niagara Falls and remarks relative to the situation of the inhabitants respecting the war, and a concise history of its progress to the present day.
PROVINCE OF UPPER C4A V
REMARKS ON THE GOVERNMENT.
IN TWO PARTS,
wrril AN APPENDIX:
CONTAINING A COMPLETE DESCRIPTION OF THAI
AND REMARKS RELATIVE TO•THE
7 L7 A 7' I 0 N OF THE INHABITANTS JiBSPEC2":11M
AlT) A CONCISE HISTORY OF ITS PRDURESS,
TO THE PRESENT DATE.
BY M. SMITH.
[Third Edition, Revised.]
PUBLISHED AND SOLD BY MOORE AND LAKE
WILLIAM & BAN ID ROBINSON, PRINTERS.
IT is a common practice among authors, to began
introduction of their works to the public, by making an
.humble apology for the crime of writing: but I cannot:
conceive that I have done wrong in publishing this
work, but rather lament that it has not appeared sooner and better executed. However, it may not be amiss
to inform the public that I was induced to this business
about three years ago, while in Canada, from a belief
that a full and impartial account of the province would
he acceptable and useful to my fellow-citizens, as of
late years many have been in the habit of moving there.
And I also knew that a correct geographical account
of the province of Upper Canada had never been published; whatever had been, was brief and defeetive. I
may add, that the mildness of the climate, fertility of
the soil, benefit of trade, cheapness of the land, and
morals of the inhabitants, so far exceeded my expects,
tions and the apprehensions of the public in general; I
deemed it my duty to make known the same.
I will also observe, that I have wrote from experimental knowledge, and not merely from what has been
suggested by others. Some may imagine, because I
write thus, that I have a partiality for the English—
but this I solemnly deny; I only describe things in their
true characters, with the impartiality of an historian.
I began this work before the war; I undertook it with
an earnest desire to benefit some, I care not who; if any
are benefitted I shall be gratified; in short, I write this
Pro Bono Publico.
Winchester, Jpril 16th, 1813.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DISTRICT OF LONDON,
THIS district is bounded east by Indian
land, on Grand River, north by the wilderness,
west by the western district at Detroit, and
south by Lake Erie, along the north shore of
which it extends about 90 miles. The district
of London is certainly much the best part of
Canada. It is sufficiently le\ el, very-rich, and
beautifully variegated with small hills and fertile valleys, through which flow a number of
pearly streams of almost the best water in the
In this district there is a large quantity of
natural plains, though not in very large bodies,
and not entirely clear of timber. This land has
a handsome appearance, and affords fine roads
and pasture in summer. Here the farmer has
but little to do only to fence his land, and put
in the plough, which indeed requires a strong
team at first, but afterwards may be tilled with
one horse. These plains are mostly in the high!.
est part of the ground, are very rich and well
adapted for wheat and clover. The surface of
the earth in this district is almost entirely clear
of stone; it is of a sandy quality, (especially
the plains) which renders it very easy for cultivation.
This district is situated in the 41st degree and
40 minutes of north lat. and is favoured with a
temperate climate. T h e summers are sufficiently long, to bring all the crops to perfection, if
planted in season: indeed there is hardly ever
any kind of produce injured by the frost. •
This is the best part of Canada for wheat,
and I believe of any part of the world: from
20 to 35 bushels are commonly gathered from
one acre of ground, perfectly sound and clear
from smut. Corn thrives exceedingly well, as
also all other kinds of grain. Apples, peaches,
cherries, and all kinds of fruit common to the
United States, flourish very well here. Woodland sells from two to five dollars an acre. The
ti mber of this district consists of almost all
kinds common to the United States.
The inhabitants of this district enjoy a greater degree of health, than is common to observe
in most places: but doubtless there are reasons
for this, founded on natural principles and
among which are the following:
1st. The inhabitants are from their prospertuts situation, exempt from the necessity of labouring too hard, and at the same time are call=
ed to a moderate share of industry, which pro=
motes the health of the body and mind.
2d. The most of the people were poor when
they first came to the province: of course had
been accustomed to live on the simple necessities of life, and yet retain a wise moderation in
eating and drinking, which also very much prevents the introduction of disease. •
3d. The climate is quite temperate, and according to the observation of many who have
lived it the place 16 years, sudden changes
from hot to cold, or cold to hot, is not so 'common as in most places in the United States, or
Europe. The winter commences gradually, and
goes off in like manner. The snow in this district has never been known to be more than 20
inches deep, and generally not more than 12.
4th. All the water in this district is clear
from any foreign body, is pure, and of the
lightest order; the most of the people make use
of springs or brooks, which are in great plenty,
and are clear and cool nine months in the year:
neither are they very often made muddy by
-rain, the land through which they run being of
a sandy quality.
5th. The soil being of a sandy quality, as observed above, naturally produces sound and
sweet grain, and vegetables: the using of which
very much promotes the health of the consumer.
6th. The people of this Canadian paradise are
more contented in their situation of life, than is
common to observe in most places,, which also
very much preserves the health of man, ,whilo
a contrary disposition tends to destroy it. • -
This District is divided into three counties,
viz. Norfolk, Middlesex, and Oxford, and
twenty-five townships, all of which I will describe in a brief manner.
OF NORFOLK COUNTY.
This county lies in the south-east part of the
district, joining the shore of Lake Erie, and is
divided into nine townships, generally nine
miles wide, where they join on the lake shore,
and twelve miles in length towards the north.
This township lies in the south-east corner of
the county, joining the Indian land on the
Grand River, and the lake shore. It is tolerably well supplied with timber of various kinds.
The ground is level and very rich; though thinly settled, in consequence of large bodies of land
together being owned by people in England.
It contains 1. gun-smith, 1 store, 1 school, 1
saw-mill, 1 tanner, 2 shoe-makers, and 1 tailor.*
This lies joining and west of "Walpole, on the
lake shore, and is also thinly inhabited; yet it
is very rich land, finely timbered, and clear
from stone, though some parts are overflowed.
with shallow ponds of water. There are also
large bodies of land in this township, owned by
* In all these townships there are a number more of
mechanics, though they are not counted, as they do not.
imploy all their time at one business.
the rich of England and other countries, which
very much prevents the population of the town.
It contains two large streams of water, viz.
Stony Creek and Nanticoke, with several
smaller ones-1 blacksmith, 1 tailor, 1 mason,
1 tanner, 2 shoe-makers, 1 joiner, 1 grist-mill, 2
saw-mills, 1 distillery, 1 store, 1 school, one religious society (Dutch Lutherans) and 1 divine.
Is thickly inhabited by rich farmers; and is
well supplied with timber of various kinds,
three miles from the lake shore; after which it
is chiefly plains, beautifully interspersed with
fine groves of timber. The soil of this township is of a sandy quality, almost entirely free
from stone, and of course very easily cultivated.
This kind of sandy land is very rich, not only
on the surface, but far beneath. I have seen
corn and other things planted on sand that was
thrown up from 5 to 20 feet deep, which grew
to great perfection; nor will it wear out in a
short time.. I have known land of this kind in
the township under cultivation 16 years, without ever being Immured, to produce 25 bushels
of wheat per acre.
This township has been settled 40 years, with
people from New-Jersey, New-York and Pennsylvania; and is famous for apples and peaches.
It is watered with three large streams, which
afford many fine falls for water-works, viz.
Young's, Patterson's, and Black Creeks; together with several other smaller ones, and one
sulphurous spring. It contains 2 blacksmiths,
6 grist-mills, (in two places) 7 saw-mills, 1 fulling-mill, 1 carding-mill, 6 distilleries, 7 stores,
2 masons, 3 joiners, 2 tailors, 4 shoe-makers,
3 weavers, 1 hatter, 2 religious societies (Methodist,) 1 divine, (M.) 1. meeting-house, (M.)
1 village, (Dover,) 1 philosophical society, 3
schools, 3 physicians, 1. attorney, and 1 masonic
This township lies still west of Woodhouse,
and will bear nearly the same description, although (if possible) better watered. It has been
settled about seventeen years, by people from
the United States.
It contains 4 grist-mills, 3 saw-mills, 3 distilleries, 3 tanners, 4 shoe-makers, 2 tailors, 3
blacksmiths, 4 carpenters, 2 stores, 2 hatters,
1. potter, 1 physician, 2 religious societies (1
Methodist and 1 Baptist) 1 meeting-house (B.)
2 public buildings, (a court-house, and jail) 1
singing-school, and 3 reading schools. There
is a mine of excellent iron ore lately discovered. There are also some large though shallow
marshes, or natural meadows, from which there
is annually taken a large quantity of hay.
Lies directly west or rather south-west of
Charlotteville, on the lake shore. The soil is
* From this township, extends Long-Point, 18 miles
into the lake. No one lives on it.
very rich and level, and better timbered than
Charlotteville, though not quite so well watered, nor so thickly settled. The greater part
of the inhabitants are Dutch.
It contains 1 grist-mill, 1 saw-mill, 2 distilleries, 1 tanner, 2 shoe-makers, 2 blacksmiths, 1
tailor, 2 weavers, 3 joiners, 2 masons; 1 hatter,
1 religious society (Methodist) and 2 schools.
Is directly south-west of Walsingham, on the
lake shore, and will bear nearly the same description, though it is thinly settled, except on
the east side, the land being chiefly owned by
gentlemen, in England.
It is watered with 1 fine stream, called Big
Lies north or back of Houghton and Walsingham. In this township there are many
plains and natural meadows—well watered,
rich and clear of stone, though as yet without
improvement. Big Creek flows through the
township, on the banks of which is a sulphurous spring of great strength.
Joins Middleton on the east, and Charlotteville and Woodhouse on the north. It is partly plain and partly timber land, very rich, clear
of stone, well watered, and tolerably thick settled with a civil and industrious people from
the United States.
Unimproved land sells cheap here—from one
and a half to three dollars an acre.
It contains 2 shoe-makers, 2 tailors, 3 weav
ers, 2 joiners, 1 mason, 1 tanner, 1 hatter, 1
store, 2 schools, 2 religious societies (one Congregationalist and one Methodist) 1 circulating
library, and 1 divine (Congregationalist.) TOWN SEND.
This township joins Windham on the east,
and Woodhouse and Rainham on the north; is
chiefly rich natural plains, which are beautifully interspersed with groves of timber, level,
well watered and clear of stone. It is thickly
settled with rich farmers, who raise great quan
tities of grain and cattle. 4- •
Townsend contains 4 grist-mills in 2 places,
3 saw-mills, 3 blacksmiths, 3 distilleries, 2 tanners, 4 shoe-makers, 2 weavers, 4 joiners, 1
hatter, 1. mason, 3 physicians, 4 stores, 1 mine
of red clay nearly equal to Spanish brown, 2
divines (one Baptist and one Methodist) 2 meeting-houses (one Congregationalist and one Baptist) and 4 schools.
OF OXFORD COUNTY.
This county is situated north of Norfolk and
Middlesex, towards the heads of the Thames
and Grand Rivers, and is divided into six
townships, about twelve miles square.
Lies north of Townsend, joining the Indian
land on the east. It is partly plains, level, rich,
sandy, well watered, and pretty thickly settled.
It contains 2 tailors, 1 hatter, 1 tanner, 3
shoe-nialiers,. 2 blacksmiths,. 2 joiners, 1 grist-
mill, 2 saw-mills, 1 distillery, 1 fulling-mill, 3
physicians, 2 religious societies (Methodists)
andi 3 schools. - • - '• BLENRIEM,'
Lies north-west of Burford. It consists of
plains and timbered laud, rich, well watered,
and tolerably thick settled.
-: it contains 2 grist-mills, 2 saw-mills; -1 tan-.
ner, 2 shoemakers, 2 blacksmiths, 1 distillery,
2 weavers, and 2 joiners.
This township lies west of Blenhiem and
Burford, is rich, well watered, thickly timbered, settled and well improved by industrious
people, from the states of New-York and Vermont. The people in this town are famous for
making butter and cheese.
It contains 2 grist-mills, 2 saw-mills, 2 distilleries, 2 tanners, 3 shoemakers, 2 masons, 2
hatters, 2 carpenters, 3 blacksmiths, 2 tailors,
1 fulling-mill, 2 physicians, 1 divine (Baptist)
3 religious societies (2 Methodists and 1 Baptist) 1 court-house and a jail.
Lies west of Oxford on the beautiful river
Thames, is very rich and exceeding well Wa-'
tered though tolerably thick set with timber.
This township'. has not been settled more
than seven years, yet:it contains a consider able
number of inhabitants;, ..chiefly from the state of
New -York. They are mostly Quakers or
Friends, and have a decent meeting-house for
the worship of God.
It contains 1 grist-mill, 2 saw-mills, 1 tanner,
2 shoemakers, 1 tailor, 2 blacksmiths, 2 carpenters, 3 weavers, 1 hatter, 1 potter, 1 physician,
and 2 schools.
Is good land, well watered, though but thinly settled. It is thick set with timber.
It contains 1 blacksmith, 2 shoemakers,. 1
joiner, 1 religious society (Methodist.) 10.,BLENFORD,
Is nearly like Dierbam, and contains .1 sawmill, 1 blacksmith, 2 schools, 1 tanner, 2 shoemakers, 1 joiner, and 1 religious society, (Methodist.)
OF MIDDLESEX COUNTY.
This county lies directly south-west of Norfolk, joining the lake shore, and is-exceeding
rich, well watered with a number of fine streams,
is level, and almost entirely clear of skate. The
common growth of timber is bass, black and
white walnut, With hickory, maple, and oak
It is not more than two years from the time
I write, April, 1812, since this county has been
open for settlement, of course it cannot be expected that there are many water works, mechanics,,or the like; I therefore shall omit naming the number in any township, but proceed
to name the townships, and on what terms this
excellent land may be obtainect*
* These reiaam-1s were :vritten be fore lip declaration.
This county is divided into ten townships;
those lying on the lake shore are Malahide,
Bayham, Southhold, Yarmouth, and Dunwhich:
those on the north part are Dorchester, Westminster, Delaware, Yarmouth, and Marlborough.
The land is exceeding rich in these townships and the surface more level than is common, there being no signs of trees having been
formerly turned up by the roots here or any
where the west side of the Grand River.
Some few years ago there was a road opened
by the government 8 miles from the shore of
Lake Erie, parallel with the same, about 50
miles long, as also one on the lake shore and
another from the middle to the north. On both
sides of these roads lots of 200 acres of land
have been given to settlers by the King, and
now may be obtained by any person on the following terms.
First. Every person that wants a lot of 200
acres (for no one person can get more from the
King) must take the oath of allegiance to his
majesty before some of his majesty's justices of
the peace, a certificate of which he must procure.
Secondly. He must then go to col. Thomas
Talbert, now agent for the King respecting the
land, who lives on the place, and shew him the
certificate of the oath, and inform him of the
wish to obtain a lot for settlement, who will
point out those that are not engaged; they may
then take their choice.
Thirdly. They must then pay to co]. Talbert, or some other proper person, 37 dollars
and a half, for which a receipt is given.
Fourthly. They then must within the term
of 2 years, clear fit for cultivation, and fence,
10 acres of the lot obtained and built a house
16 by 20. feet of logs (or frame) with a shingle
roof, also cut down all the timber in front of;
and the whole width of the lot, (which is 20
chains) 133 feet wide, 33 feet of which must be
cleared smoothe and left for half of the public
Fifthly. They must, with or without a family, be actual settlers on the said lot, within
and at the end of 2 years.
When all the things are done (no matter how
soon) col. Talbert will give them a certificate
of the same, which they must take to the Land
Office in York, upon which they will get a deed
for the said lot, which is a deed of gift from
the King. The 37 1-2 dollars called the fees
is what necessarily arises as an expense from
the surveying and giving it out.
In the spring of 1812 there were 600 lots
taken up for settlement and was then 400 more
to be disposed of by government, besides about
300 in the possession of col. Talbert to be sold
at private sale.
The settlers of these lots are almost altogether natives of the United States.
The cutting of the timber-for 133 feet is omitted as
a settling duty on lots which lie. off from the main road.
GENERAL REMARKS ON THE GEOGRAPHICAL
STATE OF THE WHOLE PROVINCE.
Situation and Extent.—The province of Upper Canada lies between 41 degrees and 40 minutes and 47 degrees north latitude, and extends along the northern banks of the river St.
Lawrence, the Lakes Ontario and Erie, and the
water communication from Lake Superior about
700 miles, Ad is 500 mileS wide, according to
an imaginary line that divides it from NewBritain on the north. The line that divides it
from the lower province begins in latitude 45
at Lake Francisco, and takes a north-west course
by Lake Tomis, canting until it meets the imaginary line just mentioned.
The line that divides the upper province from
the-United States commences near the above
lake, and is a ground line a considerable distance, some distance above the St. Regis village of Indians: then threugh the middle of theriver St. Lawrence tO110,:beginning of Lake
Ontario, thence through the middle of it to the
outlet of Lake Erie, then through the middle
of the outlet to the beginning of the said Lake,
then through the middle of it to the head near
Detroit, so through the middle of the water communications and Lakes St. Clair, Huron, Superior, Long-Lake, and Lake of the woods:
thence a due west course to the head waters of
the river Mississippi.
in these bounds there is a very large quantity
of exceeding fertile land uninhabited, particularly in the south-western parts. Here nature
blooms, untrod by man and smiles with virgin
.charms to draw him hence.
Nor do I doubt but that the time is near when
settlements will be made in these regions, especially if his majesty's successors to the British
throne should possess such a benevolent disposition as George III. who has always been willing to give any one land in the province without money or price. Should this be the case,
the wilderness will soon become a fruitful field,
and the desert like the garden of Eden.*
Soil and Surface.—There are no mountains
in the province of Upper Canada, and but very
few hills of any considerable height: yet the
country is not of a clear level but affords enough
of small hills and high bodies of ground to ren* These remarks were wrote before the declaration
of war by the American government against England
or the invasion of Canada: yet should it fall into the
possession of the :United States, this remark would be
der it agreeable to the eye, and convenient for
cultivation, buildings, water works, &c. &c.
The mountain, slope, or sudden rise of ground,
which divides the waters of Lake Erie from Lake
Ontario, begins (I known not how far) north-west
from the head of Lake Ontario, or what is called Burlington Bay, it extends around the head
of the Bay a south-east course, then an easterly
course near the south shore of Lake Ontario,
(one or two miles) till near and where it crosses
the outlet of Lake Erie, where it is fifteen miles
to the south of Ontario. This rise, towers in
some places five hundred feet high, almost perpendicular, abounding with craggy rocks: but
in general, is not more than two hundred and
fifty or three hundred feet, and then the ascent
is very gradual, mostly in the form of an English summer garden, with natural offsets about
five hundred yards wide: there are commonly
two of these offsets. On these offsets are plantations with inhabitants who have very extensive and beautiful prospects, especially those
who reside on the top.
Here the eye can gaze with pleasure on all
the fertile fields below, and has an unbounded
view of the Lake Ontario, to the north-east and
`some of the northern shore. On the top of this
rise of ground, the whole country is level, fertile and beautiful, no hill to descend or rise.
Nearly all the waters on the south side of this
slope run into Lake Erie; though there are a
few that find their way through the slope, and
afford fine falls for water works.
What is called the 20 the 30 and 40 mile
creeks go through the slope and afford excellent falls, on which there are famous water
works at present. A considerable part of this
slope is composed of craggy limestone rock,
particularly the steep parts, and from which
flow a great number of fine springs and brooks,
which water the fertile plains below.
South-west of the Niagara falls about 30
miles, and not far from the close of Lake Erie,
there are what are called the short hills. Some
of these have the form of little mountains, though
none of them are high or hard of ascent, and
may be cultivated nearly all over. These hills
are quite rich.
All along and not far from the north shore of
Lake Ontario the ground rises tolerably sudden
and considerably high, after which the country
to the north is level enough. There are few stone
on the surface of the ground, in any part of the
province, and on .the west side of the Grand
River there is no stone at all, worth naming,
yet there are stone enough beneath the surface
almost every where and in many places limestone is plenty.
The soil of the province of Upper Canada is
exceeding good in every part, yet if possible it'
is the best in the upper part west and southwest of the 'head of the Bay Quantie around the
north shore and head of Lake Ontario, and the
west side of the Grand River, in the London
district already described. The lower part of
the province is sand and clay, mixed; from the
head of the Bay Quantie to the head of Lake
Ontario, it is altogether a black light rich
mold, in most places 7 inches deep, after
which it is brown clay. On the Grand River
or Indian land and in the London district, the
soil is sand, brown loam and clay.
Alttural Production.—The timber of the
lower part of the province, is chiefly hemlock,
birel, and beach. That of the middle part, or
from the beginning of Lake Ontario to the head
is chiefly beach, sugar maple, and white pine.
On and west of the Grand River the chief of
the timber is white pine. Elm, bass, black
walnut, and the different oaks, chesnut and the
like, indeed in this part of the province are
found all the varieties in the United States;
also some of the trees of the balm of Gilead,
one of a majestic appearance stands 24 miles
west of Niagara on the main road. In the lower part of the province there is but little of any
kind of wild fruit, but in the middle part there
are several sorts, particularly huckleberries and
rice.* In the western part there are a great
variety of wild fruits, and are the following:
* This rice grows in the bottom of several shallow
lakes; the stalk is nearly like the stalk of oats. The
grain is larger than common rice, but not so white, but
rather a better taste and not so hard to clean. The Indians collect it with their canoes, and bring large quantities of it among the inhabitants, which they sell very
Cranberries, rasberries, blacliherries, grapes.,
sarvesberries, wild potatoes, which were exceeding useful to the first inhabitants, strawberries, plumbs of a very good sort, as also a great
quantity of the best crab apples I ever saw,
which the inhabitants of new settlements use
by preserving with the molasses of pumpkins.
agriculture.—In the lower part of the province, there are considerable quantities of
wheat, oats, and peas raised. In the "riddle
part, wheat, rye, oats, peas, hemp, flax, and
some corn. In the western parts the product is
wheat, which thrives better here than in other
parts; rye, oats, and corn, come to great perfection as also buckwheat. All kinds of roots
and vegetables flourish well in any part of the
province, but especially in the west. Apples
come to perfection in any part of the province,
though peaches cannot be raised in the lower
end, but do exceeding well within 300 miles of
the west end of the province, as also cherries,
pears, plumbs, apricots, and the like.
All kinds of tame cattle do well in any part
of the province, but especially horned cattle
and sheep thrive here, and are exceeding healthy. Bees do exceeding well on Lake Erie
and are plenty in the woods.
Climate.—The climate of the upper province is temperate, especially near the head of
Lake Ontario and on west joining the shore of
Lake Erie. All this part of the province lies
in the same latitude as from New-York to
Springfield in Connecticut, yet as it is several
degrees to the west, it is warmer than the weather in the same latitude east. It is also evident from the experie'nce and journal of several
discerning persons, that have lived nearly 20
years in this part of Canada, that the weather
does not change so often and sudden from heat
to cold and cold to heat as in most other places;
nor are the seasons of wet and dry so extreme
as they are in the United (especially the southern) States. The showers of rain are moderate
and plentiful owing perhaps to the bounty of
heaven, and the multitude of fine lakes of water with which the province abounds.
The air of the lower part of the province is
rather too sharp in the winter, yet truly salubrious and healthy; the air in the upper part
3 or 400 miles to the south-west is quite pleasant. What is a little remarkable, but which
is true according to a diary of the weather
which I kept for 2 years, the wind blew more
than two thirds of the winter or for 4 months,
from the west, but hardly ever from the north
or north-west; yet in the summer it blew almost
constantly from the north. All the snow
storms in Canada come from the north-east,
and the coldest winds from the south-east and
south. Rain storms come from the north and
When the western part of the horizon is red i
at the setting of the sun, it forbodes foul weather for the next day. In the upper part of
this province, in the summer time,. there is a
continual though moderate gale of wind,
lar to that in the State of Georgia; occasioned,
perhaps, by the many lakes of water. This
being the case, the hottest days are rendered
pleasant. Hurricanes or tornadoes haVe not
been seen in Canada since•it has been settled
by white people. Yet there is every appearance of them on all the north shore of Lake
Ontario; having once raged with great fury its
all the timber has been torn up by the roots,
from supposition about 600 years ago.
Commerce. The commerce of the upper
province has of late years been considerable,
and of great benefit to the inhabitants, as well
as to Great Britain. Within 8 years, the exports of both provinces have amounted to about
2 millions and a half of dollars, though the
greatest part of these exports belong to the upper province.
It appears that there were exported from both
provinces, in the years 1802-3-4-5, 1,012,000
bushels of wheat each year, on an average,
40,000 barrels of flour, and 34,000 weight of
biscuit, besides much potash, timber, fur, &c.
In the years 1809-40-11, there has been
timber for vessels and casks taken to England,
to the amount of 200,000 pounds sterling..
In these years, there were 320 vessels employed in taking away this produce, amounting
to 4500 tons. The common price of wheat is
1 dollar per bushel, and sometimes 1 dollar
and 25 cents—corn 50 cents, and.rye, 75 cents
—pork 6 dollars per cwt.—These prices are
common in every part of the province:
Dry; goods and groceries are brought to Canada, in great quantities, from England and
the United States, which, considering the great
distance they come, 'are sold :very cheap. At
Niagara and other places, green tea is sold for
1 dollar per pound, molasses 10 shillings per
gallon,' and brown sugar-1 shilling per pound
or 8 pounds for a dollar, but :since the war it
can be had for 8 cents per pound. • ;;
Tolerably fine calicoes are often' bought
25 cents per yard, and salt has been-generally
sold at 1 dollar. per bushel, but since the yiar
it has sold at 4.*
dnimals. I believe that all-the. yttatiety of
animals common to most places in
are found here, except ffrats, wItieb,are
not to be found in the province of ,ypper Canada.
A few years ago, there was;.W!-Ae• bear
caught near York, and dissected by-a, surgeon
of the place, which was found to be with
young; and which is the only instance Lbe:
iieve, that has occurred of the like in North
America. Bears are plenty in all parts of the
province, but more abundant in the south-west
* Gold is the current coin of Canada, and is quite plot.
ty- of late years, since there has been so good a market
part. It is very remarkable, that bears do not
often destroy hogs, in Canada; however, they
are troublesome to the inhabitants in the fall,
by infesting their corn fields, yet the people
loose but little by them, as they kill many for
There are also an abundance of hedge-hogs
in the province, and which the Indians eat
counting them good. In the south-west parts
there are plenty of deer, an abundance of which
are taken every winter by the Indians.
There are also a plenty of all kinds of birds
which are found in the United States, except
turkey buzzards, which are very scarce. There
is also a kind of bird found here about the size,
and has the same motion and voice as the pari.
kite, so plenty in the state of Kentucky, yet
not of the same colour, but is grey; it is called
by some the frolic. Wild ducks are found in
great plenty in and around the shores of all the
lakes. Geese are not plenty in the waters of
Lakes'Ontario and Erie at present, but used
to be before the country was settled by white
people, yet they are plenty enough in all the
lakes north oldie settlements.
In the north end of the province there are
do snakes of avy kind to be found, but differ. ent sorts are found plenty enough in the southwest end. A number of years ago there were
several people 'Of respectability, who reported
that they saw in Lake Ontario several large
snakes, about 20 yards in length. In' June,
.1811, a snake was seen in this lake near the
mouth of the river Credit, 16 miles above York.
I was acquainted with some who saw it, and
believe them to be people of truth. It come
within 7 yards of the boat that they were in,
and played about it, and was judged to be.30
feet in length and 3 in circumference.* There
are seals in this lake, some of which have been
Fish.—Lake Ontario abounds with fish of
almost every kind, but the salmon and:salmon=
trout are the most and far the best. The salmon appear in very large quantities in the fall
of the year and penetrate up all the waters
that run into the lake, so high that they are
often thrown out with the hand, but they are
commonly taken near the mouth of the rivers
by the Indians in the night, by means of spears.
They commonly weigh from 10 to 20 pounds,
and may be purchased of the Indians at 1. shilling each, or for a gill of whisky, A cake of
bread, or the like trifle. They are of great
benefit to the inhabitants, especially the poorer
The salmon trout appear in the spring,'
though not in so great plenty, but are larger,
* From the head of the Bay Quantie to a little lake
-.that empties into Lake Ontario, it is not more than a
mile and three quarters. It is very smoothe; at different
times the inhabitants have in the morning seen tracks,
as if a large log had been drawn along from the bay to
the lake; this has been done by snakes.
weighing from 13 to 30 pounds, and are much,
fatter than salmon.
There are several other fish of an excellent
quality, and plenty, particularly bass and herring: the latter very much resemble the sea herring, though they are not so full of small bones.
In the month of November they are taken in
great abundance from the water communication
between the main lake and the little lake, otherwise called Burlington Bay, at the head of Lake
Ontario. They are taken with the net, the
channel of water between the two lakes being
not more than 8 feet deep and about 60 wide
and 300 yards long.
Very good and large eels are also taken out
of the lake, yet they are but little valued, except by the Indians.
There are a great number of fish in Lake
Erie some of which are very valuable, particularly what is called the white fish.
There are not many eels in this lake; whit
few there are have multiplied from 20 w.iich
British officer put into it from Lake Ontario 37
Mines and .Minerals.—In the Johnstown
district there is an iron mine of considerable
value, from which iron has been made for many
In the district of London, Charlotteville
township, there was a large and rich body of
iron ore discovered in the year 1810, and from
which there has been a little iron made of an
excellent quality. There are several more
mines or bodies of iron ore found in different
parts of the province, yet there is but little attention paid to them, though they might be valuable, should they fall into the possession of
men of an enterprising spirit. There are also
some lead mines that are said to be very rich
In the forks of Grand River which empties
into Lake Erie, and about 50 miles from the
same, on the land owned by the Six Nations
of Indians, there has lately been discovered a
body of plaister, or what is called plaister of
Paris. It lays in the bowels of a large hill,
but how much it contains is not known. This
plaister has been used in different parts of the
country adjacent, and answers every valuable
purpose, as well as that which is brought-from
France or Nova-Scotia does in the United,
States. No soil can be better adapted to the
use of plaister, than that of the district of London, which joins on the Grand River.
In the township of Townsend, there is a clay
that paints nearly as well as Spanish brown,
and many people use it instead thereof. Also
in some other parts there are clays that paint
There is a number of salt springs in almost
every part of Canada, although there has not
been much salt made in the province hitherto,
it having been brought from the different saltworks in the State of New-York, in great abun3*
dance. However there has been salt made
from some, of an excellent quality, particularly
in Lincoln county, near Niagara, in the township of Percy, -Newcastle district.
There is a number of medical springs in the
province of an excellent quality. One in the
township of Woodhouse, is of a sulphurous nature: a quart will purge well, and of the same
sort is the one in :Middleton on Big Creek. 12
miles east of York there is a, spring of great
Lakes. There are 7 lakes of considerable
size in the inhabited part of the province, and
many more in the wilderness. Lake Ontario is
about 230 miles long, from north-east to southwest, and 80 wide: about the middle, being of
an oval form, it is exceeding deep, and in most
places it appears to be without bottom, as there
has been great length of cord let down without
finding any. The water is very clear and cool
at all times of the year, having the appearance
of a large spring. This lake never freezes except near the shore where it is shallow: nor
does it freeze there only a few weeks in the
most severe weather. It is pretty certain that
there is more water runs out of this lake than
runs in, and when we consider its very extensi v e surface, it is also certain that there is much
of its water evaporated by the sun: of course
it must hide many exceeding large springs.
Lake Ontario has sunk within its banks since.
the nonce of its present inhabitants, say 37
years, and some Indians inform that their fore
fathefs say that it was once as high as the
.heighth of the Niagara Fall, and that the waters of lakes Ontario and Erie joined in most
places, but as to the truth of this assertion I will
not pretend to say; yet I am of the opinion
that the water of Lake Ontario once reached to
the foot of the mountain or slope of ground already named, and I am led to this belief from
the circumstance of pebble stones being dug up
from every part of the surface, and underneath
the same, between it and the shore. The foot
of the mountain is 20 feet higher than the lake.
There are not many islands in this lake, except near the lower end, where they arc plenty.
In many places the ground descends to the
water very gradually, and there is ho bank at
all, except a sandy or gravelly beach; but in
other places the banks are 15 feet high.*
The wind has a great effect upon this lake,
and the waves sometimes run high; yet it is
tolerably safe for navigation, there being but
few shoals or rocks at any distance from the
There are a number of vessels on this lake,
and some of considerable size. The sight of so
great a body of water iu the midst of the wilderneSs, enriched with ships sailing and colours flying, is truly pleasing and romantic.t
* Almost all the north shore has highbanks.
t There are many prospective situations on the banks
The Little Lake, or Burlington Bay, lies at
the south-west end of this lake, and is divided
from it by a causeway, 5 miles long, and in most
places 300 yards wide, the surface of this causeway is completely level, of a light sand, matted
over with grass, and beautifully decorated with
groves of timber, chiefly oak of a middle size,
but of an endless variety of curious forms—some
6 feet in circumference at the butt, yet not more
than 12 feet high, with extensive limbs, crooking and turning in all directions. A great number of these trees are entirely encircled with
grape vines, and produce great quantities of
grapes of an excellent quality. The former
residence of the noted col. Brandt is near this
place. This causeway is broken off in one
place, as already noted, about a mile from the
north-west shore, and is about 5 feet higher
than the water. It is a beautiful place fora
summer seat.* The Little Lake to the west of
this causeway is about 20 miles in circumference, and is generally shallow, although deep
in some places.
It is thought that there are salt springs in the
bottom of this lake, because the herring chiefly
reside in it. It is famous for ducks and eels.t
* Not far from the middle there are a number of Indians buried. In the winter of 1810, this causeway
was shook in a violent manner by an earthquake.
t Not far from this bay there is a volcano of same
There are a considerable number of harbours
in Lake Ontario, but the most noted and curlous is that of Pres qu'isle, in the district of Newcastle, Cramaghe township, on the lake shore,
about 75 miles south-west of Kingston. There
are two points of land, about 4 miles apart,
- which extend out from the main shore, but
draw nearer each other as they extend into the
-lake, and finally meet in a rounding form,
about 5 miles from the shore. These arms of
land are level on the top, and are about 5 or 8
feet above the water. About 3 miles from the
shore, there is a channel of water which runs
through the east point of land, about 150 yards
wide, and 30 feet deep. This channel lets in
the vessels, which can sail all over the harbour
with safety, and in going up to the top, or
where the two arms meet, which is in form like
a horse-shoe, the largest ships may come close
up to the banks, which are perpendicular of solid rock. A plank is put from the shore to the
vessel, when it is to be loaded.
The Bay Quantie connects with Lake Ontario, a small distance west of Kingston, and extends 70 miles up towards the south-west parallel with it. It is 1 mile wide in some places
and 6 in others. There are a considerable
number of arms, or smaller bays, which put
out from it, some 10 miles long. This bay is
very safe for navigation, being very deep, and
secure from the effect of high winds. Most of
the traders, with small vessels who go from
Kingston to York, Niagara, or Detroit, pass up
This bay to the head, which is only 1. mile and
3 quarters from a small lake called Willow's
Lake that puts into Lake Ontario, and here the
vessels are carried across by means of wheels
and oxen. The road is quite level and sandy.
Those traders which come down Lake Ontario
generally cross this carrying place into the bay;
although the Bay Quantie, and the Lake Ontario are so near here, yet they are 30 miles apart
in some places, owing to an extensive projection of some points of land into the lake, and
no doubt their being so near at the head of the
bay, is a divine interposition of providence for
the benefit of the inhabitants.
There are several small lakes in the peninsula between the lake and bay, which abound
with fish, one of which deserves particular notice, called the Mountain Lake. This lake is
situated in Hallowell township, Prince Edward
county, Midland district, 34 miles from Kingston, on the bay shore. It lies on the top of a
mountain judged to be 200 feet high: but in the
month of December, 1812, I stood on the ice of
the bay, in front of it, and after taking the
height , I found it to be only 100 and 60 feet.
This lake is about 3 miles in circumference,
and very deep in most places, abounding with
fish of different sorts. How fish could get into
this lake, is a matter of deep speculation, as it
has no connexion with the bay or lake, only by
the small stream that flows from it into the bay
by a fall of 160 feet nearly perpendicular.
Under these falls there is now -a grist-mill,
near the bay shore, in the possession of M.
Near the head of the Bay Quantie, on the
north side, there is a lake of considerable size
called the Hog Lake, as also several others
not far distant. About 20 miles west of the
head of the Bay Quantie, and 15 miles north of
the shore of Lake Ontario is situated what is
called the Rice Lake, on account of the great
quantity of rice which grow in it. This lake
is from 3 to 9 miles wide, and 36 in length,
though not very deqh Its course is from east
to west, the west end is not far from Lake Simcoe. At the east end there is a fall of 18 feet
perpendicular, in the form of a half moon.*
Below the falls, begins what is called the river.
Trent, which is tolerable large, and affords
many falls fit for water works: it empties in the
Bay Quantie at the head. This lake communicates with a chain of small lakes called the
shallow lakes which afford rice also, and extends near the north end of Lake Simeoe: Lake
Simcoe lies still west of Rice Lake, and is some
larger. It communicates with Lake Huron to
the south-west by the river Severn.
* The land around these falls is very rich, well watered, clear of stone on the surface, light timbered, lays
handsome and prospective, though a barren wilderness
now. Should some enterprising gentlemen establish
themselves here and erect water works this would soon
be a valuable place.
Lake Erie which lies 30 miles from any
part of Lake Ontario, on the south-west is nearly 300 miles long from north-east to south-west,
and from 20 to 40 miles wide. This lake lies
nearly 300 feet higher than Lake Ontario which
is the reason of the Niagara falls. It is also
pure and clear water, though not so deep as
Lake Ontario, nor is it so safe for navigation,
or afford so many fine harbours. There are
some islands near the west end of this lake that
contain many bad snakes. The shOre of this
lake in most places is nearly level with the
land, and very smoothe and sandy. It is thought
that full as much water runs out of this lake as
There are other lakes in Canada. The
Lake St. Clair lies in a north-westerly course
from Lake Erie. Still farther to the north-west
is Lake Huron, 100 miles in circumference, in
latitude 42. From Lake Huron, through the
straits of Marie, it is 40 miles to Lake Superior, which lies between 49 and 50 degrees north
latitude, and between 84 and 90 degrees west
longitude from London. The Isle Royal,
which is near the middle of this lake, is 100
miles long and 40 wide. In the middle of this
island is the line between the United States
and Great Britain.
" Lake Erie extends 60 miles north-east of the head,
or west end of Lake Ontario. To draw a line due
south, from the west end of Lake Ontario to Lake
Erie, it would strike it 60 miles from the east end.
Rivers.—Although Canada is a level country, yet is not so low and flat as not to afford
any streams of water, but on the contrary has
many which run clear and afford excellent falls
for water works, the principal of which are the
The Ottaway river is a large stream that
rises out of Lake Tomis canting and runs a
south-east course through Upper Canada, and
crosses the line into the lower province, and
empties into the river St. Lawrence above and
below Montreal. The spring floods in this river rise in the month of June; it inundates its
banks and often spoils the farmer's young crop.
The reason of this is because the river extends
so great a distance to the north-west, where the
spring does not begin until the last of May, and
by the time the snow is thawed, and the ice in
the lake broken up, the water descends to the
settled parts of the province near the mouth of
the river, it is the middle of June. There are
a great number of fish of various sorts in this
river. There are considerable falls in this river, though none of a perpendicular descent.
There are several more rivers in the lower
part of the province which empty into the river
St. Lawrence, and abound with fish. The river Cananocqua, which empties into the river 14
miles below Kingston, is of considerable size.
What is called Myres' Creek, which empties
into the Bay quantie, from the north, 50 miles
from Kingston, is considerable large, very clear
and pare, and runs near the surface of the
ground, affords fine falls for water.works, and
abounds with fish.
The river Trent, already named, empties
into the head of the Bay Quantie, from the Rice
Lake, is large and abounds with fish.
Many hundred barrels of excellent salmon
are taken out of this river every fall.
From the head of the Bay Quantie, for 70
miles towards the south-west, up the Lake Ontario, there are no rivers of a considerable size
that empty into the lake; yet there is an abundance of small and pearly creeks and brooks—
indeed it is the best watered part in Canada.
Smith's Creek and Lion's Creek, are streams
of some note.
What is now called Dairen's Creek, is a fine
stream, abounding with fish; it empties into
Lake Ontario, 30 miles below, or north-east of
The river Rush empties into the lake 18
miles below York; it is tolerably large, and
navigable for boats 20 miles up.
From this river there is an abundance of
salmon taken every fall. Still up towards the
head of Lake Ontario, there are a number more
of fine streams.
Sixteen miles above York, empties into the
lake, the river Credit. This is one of the best
rivers in Canada for salmon; it is tolerably
large. The salmon are taken out of this and
other rivers in the night by means of spears.
The fishermen have an iron frame fixed in the
fore part of their canoes, in which they place
pine knots and fire for light. They then paddle
along in the river, and see the salmon floating
near the surface of the water, where they come,
by the influence of the light. They are quite
tame and are',struck with ease. The salmon
come up the rivers hi large quantities together
on purpose to spawn.
Ten miles still farther up the lake empties in
what is called the 16 mile Creek, which is tolerably large and famous for fish. Five miles
farther is what is called the 12 mile Creek, a
beautiful stream, abounding with fish, and many
fine fails for water works.
There are several fine streams that run into
the head of Lake Ontario and Burlington Bay.
The Chippeway river runs into the Niagara
river 3 miles above the falls, and is tolerably
large and long. What is called the 20 mile
Creek, rises near the head of the Chippeway,
from a large pond, flows a north-east course
and plunges down the slope of ground already
described, by several perpendicular pitches in
different places, affording excellent seats for
water works. It empties into Lake Ontario 16
miles west of Niagara.
The 15, 16, 17, 30 and 40 mile Creeks all
ran into Lake Ontario and plunge over the
slope and afford fine falls.
The river Niagara, or outlet of Lake Erie, is
very large before it empties into Lake Ontario,.
but is still larger after it leaves the lake, oryiver St. Lawrence. This river will be fully
Alescribed in the Appendix.
There are several considerable streams that
run into Lake Erie.
The Grand River is a considerable large
stream of exceeding clear water arising from
the small Lake St. Clie. It is navigable for
vessels of considerable size for 50 miles from
its mouth. It empties into Lake Erie 60 miles
from the east end, and contains many fine fish.*
This river is in the possession of the Six Nations of Indians; they own 6 miles of land each
side of it from the mouth to the head.
The Thames is large and beautiful, rising
near the head of the Grand River, and runs
nearly a south course into the waters that come
from Lake Superior into the head of Lake Erie.
It empties 30 miles above Sandwhich. There
are a number inure fine streams that run into
Lake Erie; such as Big Creek passing through
Middleton and Houghton townships, as also
Kettle and Outer Creeks in Middlesex county.
Indians.—There are seven distinct nations
of Indians in the inhabited part of Canada; six
of these nations live on the Grand River alrea* I think it proper to rectify a mistake which somehow got int6 Morse's Geography, printed in Boston,
/8H, where this Grand River is represented as
passing through Rice Lake, and mingling with the waters
dy noted,-viz. the Mohawks, the Chippeways
the Delawares, the Massasaugas, the Tuscaroras, and Senacas. Each of these nations have
their king or chief, and their village and council-house. They also speak a different language, yet understand each other very well.
These six nations of Indians on the Grand River, in number 1976. have attained to a tolerable degree of civilization. They speak the
English language with some propriety, and
have schools and the gospel continually among
them. The school teachers are paid by the
King, and also their preacher. A number of
these Indians have very good English learning,
and are very industrious: some the families
have raised in one year 300 bushels of wheat.
They are very kind to strangers, and will give.
the best of their food or drink to them. They
are all firmly attached to the interest of the
British government, and are exercised in the
military use of arms, several times in the year.
They can muster 600 warriors; though the
Massasaugas are not good to fight, nor for any
•thing else. There are a considerable number
of this tribe residing in other parts of the province, some on the 16 mile Creek above York,
already named, others on the bank of the Lake
Simcoe, and others on the Rice Lake.
Besides those of the Mohawks on the Grand
River, there are a considerable number living
near the Bay Quantie, on the north side, about
the middle. They own a tract of land 12 miles
square, and have schools and the gospel among
There are a small tribe of Indians called the
St. Regis Indians, living on the river St. Regis,
near the lower part of the province. There is
also a small tribe called the Moravian Indians,
living in the western district; they have the
/ gospel preached to them by the Dutch Moravians among whom they live: they are of the
Delaware tribe. On some islands near and in
Lake Huron, there are a considerable number
of Indians called the Huron Indians, and are
o. eat warriors.
Near the head of the Ottaway river, there is
a small tribe of Indians, called the Nepisingui
Indians: they live on a lake of the same name,
and were once converted to the Roman Catholic religion, at which time they were a numerous tribe. They are of the Algonquin nation,
some of which now reside about Lake Superior.
There are a number of Indians of different
nations besides those that I have named, though
they have but little intercourse with the British,
except that they trade with them by the agents,
and make them yearly presents of a great
There are various accounts respecting the
number of Indians in Canada, some suppose
that there is 100,000, and out of these there
may be raised 30,000 warriors, yet I think this
is not correct; indeed I believe that the British
r,overuraegt do not know the number of all that
• consider themselves connected with it, as all
the different nations never meet together at
The Canadian Indians cost the British crown
about 3,0001. sterling each year. This sum is
expended in furnishing them with fire-arms and
ammunition., by means of which they kill their
game, also in blankets and clothes to cover
their nakedness, as also bread, meat, and tobacco. These things are called gifts, from the 4,,
King, but are chiefly the interest of money in
England belonging to the Six Nations, for land.
sold to the King. However, I am of opinion
that those things which they get from the King's
stores do them more harm than good, as thereby they are encouraged to live in idleness, depending on those gifts which they receive twice
Should part of this amount be given to them
in horses, cows, sheep and hogs, as also farming utensils, and the rest to all such that at the
end of each year had raised more produce than
they needed; this would be a discouragement
to idleness, and a stimulus to industry.
The most of the Indians in the province of
Upper Canada have been converted from ido* I am of opinion that at present, Sept. 1912, which
is since the invasion of Canada, that the British have
now in their interest, including the prophet Tecumseh,
Splitlog, and Walk-in-the-water, with their people,
nearly :30,040 walriors.
latry, to the belief of the Christian religion, by
the labour of the Roman Catholic priests, when
the province belonged to the French; but ever
since the province has fell into the hands of the
British, there has not been so much attention
to the religious instruction of the Indians as
formerly. What are taught in the Christian
faith are of the Protestant cast, yet the young
Indians do not know or care any thing about
any kind of religion.
Notwithstanding the Indians have formerly
been taught by the Catholics in the principles
of the Christian faith, and at present the Protestants preach among them, as do some other
sects, they still hold some of those traditional
nations relative to God and the soul, which are
In the summer they lay about the lakes,'and
now and then catch sturgeon and eels.
These Indians are considerably troublesome
to the white people, especially the tribe of
IVIassasaugas, as they are walidering through
the country almost continually; and begging
something to eat, when they get drunk, which
is as often as they can get a Chance, they are
quarrelsome and many times dangerous.
The armour of the Indians in time of war,
are a rifle, a spear about 18 inches long with a
handle 8 feet, a tomahawk, and scalping knife,
all of which they use as instruments of death.
The Indians in Canada, like all other Indians, dress very indifferently, though they get
much fine cloth from thA King's store, which
they only throw over their dirty bodies. and in
a little time all is filthy together.. 1 11 the summer, they are chiefly naked, except a little covering around the waist. The women are particularly careful of their legs below their knees,
if all other parts are naked. Villages..—There are not many villages, in
the province of Upper Canada of much note,
the inhabitants finding their greatest advantage
in agriculture, as the land is very cheap and
s .situated about 100 miles down the river
° St. Lawrence, is handsome but not large.
Is 70 miles down the same river, and stands
opposite to Ogdensburgh on the United States
side, it is small. There is a fort and garrison
kept here. BROCKVILLE,
Lies 12 - Miles higher up the river, and is
handsomely - situated, containing about 60
Stands a few miles below the head of the St.
Lawrence, opposite to an island which is the
means of forming a safe and commodious harbour. It contains about 150 houses, a courthouse, jail, and 2 houses for public worship.
The fort in this place is strong, though most
of•the cannon are small. It is a place of much
trade. There are several more small villages
on the banks of the bay of quartile, and are
places of some trade, all of which increase and
Is situated 170 miles south-west of Kingston,
on the north shore of Lake Ontario, and is
something larger than the former. This village
is laid -out after the form of Philadelphia, the
streets crossing each other at right angles;
though the ground on which it stands is not
suitable for building. This at present is the
seat of government, and the residence of a number of English gentlemen. It contains some
fine buildings, though they stand scattering,
among which are a court-house, council-house,
a large brick building in which the King's
store for the place is kept, and a meeting-house
for Episcopalians. This city lies in north latitude 43 degrees and some minutes. The harhour in front of the city is commodious, safe
and beautiful, and is formed after a curious
manner. About 3 miles below, or east of the
city, there extends out from the main shore an
arm or neck of land about 100 yards wide,
nearly in the form of a rainbow, until it connects with the main shore again, about a mile
above, or west of the city, between it and
where the fort stands. About 300 yards from
the shore, and as many from the fort, there is
a channel through this circular island merely
sufficient for the passage of large vessels. This
bason,,which in the middle is 2 miles wide, is
very deep and without rocks, or any thing of
the kind. While the water of the main lake
which is 30 miles wide in this place is tost as
the waves of the sea, this bason remains
smoothe. The fort in this place is not strong,
but the British began to build a-very strong one
in the year 1811.
Is situated -nearly opposite York, on the
south side of the lake, at the point of land formed by the conjunction of the outlet of Lake
Erie and Ontario. It is a beautiful and prospective place, being surrounded on two sides
by water, the lake on the north, and the Niagara river on the east, and which affords a fine
harbour for shipping.
Fort George of this place stands about a half
a mile from the mouth of this river, near the
bank where it is 34 feet above the surface of
the water; it is nearly square, enclosing a
space of about 150 yards long and 100 broad.
The pickets are high and strong, defended by
a ditch on the outside, and breast-works on
the inside. It is well provided with cannon,
ammunition, water, provision and the like.
This village is a pla
c e of much trade, and is
inhabited by a civil and industrious people.
It contains a council-house, court-house, andjail,* and 2 houses for public worship. There
* On the 13th of October, 1812, these were burnt by
the Americans with hot balls from the east side, as also
some other buildings.
are several squares of ground in this village
adorned with almost every kind of precious
fruit. The front part of the village, on the
east, looks towards the fort over a beautiful
plain of nearly 1 mile wide.
Is situated 7 miles further up the Niagara
river, close by the foot of the mountain, or
slope of ground already noted at what is called
the landing. It is a small, but handsome village: the most of the houses are built with
stone or brick, large, and well finished. It is
also a place of considerable trade, and inhabited by a civil and rich people.
Lies 10 miles above Queenston and 3 above
the Niagara falls: is a small village at the
mouth of the Chippeway creek. It has some
handsome buildings, and is a place of consi4
There is a small village at this place of some
beauty, the inhabitants of which carry on a
considerable trade from the lake.
Is situated about 410 miles south-west of Fort
Erie, on the lake shore in the district of London, a little east of Long Point. It stands in
a beautiful place adjoining an excellent coup* It was at this place the Americans crossed on the
13th of October.
try of land, and has a handsome court=house
Lies 64 miles farther to the south-west on
the lake shore. It has been laid out about 3
years, and bids fair for a considerable village.
It has a fine harbour for shipping .
This fort and village is situated at the southwest end or head of Lake Erie, 14 miles south
of Detroit. It is a pleasant place though not
large. The fort here is strong.
Is situated still up the river, opposite Detroit, and is a handsome village of considerable
age, inhabited principally by French, who settled this country, 103 years ago.
There are several other villages in the province not immediately on the water, which are
of considerable size and beauty; but those already named are the principal.
Settlements.—In the lower part of this province, the settlements do not extend back or.
north from the river St Lawrence. Above
Kingston, the settlements extend from Lake
Ontario, (counting the peninsula.hetween the
lake and the Bay quantie, which in some places
is 10, and. in others 30 miles wide) 50 miles.
Above the head of the bay, on the lake shore,
for about 100 miles, the settlements do not extend more than 6 miles from the lake. North
from York, the settlements extend farther
back, particularly on what is called Yonge'sstreet, which runs a due north course to Lake
Simcoe. On both sides of this streetthe farms
are thick and well improved, the soil being very
good, although the climate is not so favourable
as it is farther to the south-west. From York,
west, along the lake shore, there are but small
settlements on the shore for 20 miles; after
which, what is called Dundas-street, 4 miles
from the shore, is thickly settled on both sides
for 20 miles; as also between this and the lake
it is thinly inhabited, although this has not been
settled more than 6 years from the present date
(1812.) Above 10 or 15 miles, at the head of
Burlington Bay, is what is called loot's Paradise. It is fine rich sandy plains, thickly settled 7 miles from the shore, to the foot of the
slope already named; and on the top, west and
north-west for 15 miles, there are fine settlements in two townships—East and West Flafitbeau. Farther south, around the head of lake
Ontario, or more particularly Burlington Bay,
the settlements are thick, extending west 16
miles. About 40 miles up the Grand River, is
Brant's towna thick settlement of Dutch,
ship. Still to the east, `as the roads lead to Niagara, the settlements are thick near the shore
of Lake Ontario. After one gets 30 miles east
of the head of Burlington Bay, and 20 from
Niagara, settlements of an old date are made,
and -pretty thick, all the way across from lake
is more than 30 miles. From
the thick settlement west of the head of Lake
Ontario, towards the London district, the inhabitants are thin for 20 miles, through the tract
of land belonging to the six nations of Indians.
The settlements in the London district have already been described. The settlements in the
west end of the province are chiefly on the St.
Lawrence,. on •• its course through Huron and
Civil :Division . —The province of Upper Canada is divided into 8, districts, 24 counties, and
156 townships, generally about 12 miles square.
These townships are surveyed into concisions,
the width of the township in front towards the
lake, and one mile :and a quarter wide back
from the lake to the north,'but in some places
they are not more than three quarters of a mile
wide. Each township is divided into 14 concisions, the whole of which make 2184. These
concisions are subdivided into 24 lots of 200
acres each, the whole of which amounts to
32,416, which number multiplied by 200, will
produce 10,483,200, the number of acres surveyed in the province, besides considerable,
called brOken fronts, not yet surveyed, granted
to those who owned land in rear thereof. It
may not be amiss to remark here, that in every
direction from the lands now surveyed, there
are great quantities of wild or unsurveyed land,
which is equally as good as that now improved.
Between every concision there are 4 rods left
for the public road, and also between every 4th
lot, which is one quarter of a mile wide.
Districts.—Of these there are 8, as already
noted. The Eastern District is situated at the
north-east end of the province, joining the St.
,Lawrene,e and Ottaway rivers. It is in the
coldest and most unpleasant part of the province, the land being sandy, cold and stony, in
general producing peas, potatoes, oats and some
wheat. The most of the inhabitants are Scotch`
The District of Johnstown lies up farther on
the river St. Lawrence, and will bear nearly
the same description as the other, but is something better.
The Midland District lies from a little be,
low Kingston up west to the head of Bay Quantie, comprehending that beautiful peninsula between the bay and the lake. . T his district is
large, and thick settled with rich farmers. The
land is very fertile, producing wheat in abundance, also apples and other summer fruit.
The bay and the several rivers that run into it
afford plenty of fish.
Xewcastle District, extends from the head
of the Bay Quantie, 50 miles to the south-west,
along the shore of the lake, and is divided into
two counties, Northumberland and Durham.
This district is well watered, rich, though a
little hilly, and more stony than any other.
Home District, is still farther up the lake,
and is divided into two counties, York and
Simcoe.. It is large and tolerably thick settled; it ha
s an abundance of white pine upon
it, and a number of beautiful streams of water.
Niagara District, is situated south of Home
and the lake,in the peninsula between the two
lakeS. It is very large, and divided into two
counties, Lincoln and Haldeman. The latter
is on the Grand River, in possession of the six
nations of Indians, already named.
The county of Lincoln lies in the east part
of the peninsula, joining on the outlet of Lake
Erie, and is divided into 25 townships, all
which are tolerably thick settled, and well improved, though not so 'well watered as other
London District has been already described.
Western District is situated at the west end
of the province, joining the river St. Lawrence
as it comes from Lake Superior to the bead of
Lake Erie; it is large and rich, and some part
tolerable well improved: it affords fine plains,
and has been settled by the French more than
100 years. It is divided into two counties, Essex and Kent.
Roads.—When the upper province
was first settled, the people laboured under considerable disadvantages for the want of roads:
nor could it be expected that the inhabitants
could open any of great extent, as the timber
in most places is heavy, and they had as much
as they could do to clear land to raise enough
produce to support their families. Yet the
opening of roads was necessary, and the King
knew this could not be effected by the people
without his assistance. He therefore gave large
sums of money to be laid: out for that purpose,
and for a number of years past, nearly the
whole amount of the revenue of the province
which is the King's money, amounting to 50,000/
has been laid out in opening and repairing of
the public_ high ways. This with the statute
labour which the inhabitants of every township
perform is the means of making tolerably good
coads in almost every part of the province.
There is no toll taken for passing on any road
or bridge in the province..
What is called the King's roads or high
ways are 4 rods wide, and lead in the directions now to be described: there is one road
that leads from Montreal, which is in the lower province, up the river St. Lawrence, near
the bank on the north side, through Cornwall
village to Prescott, so on to Brockville and
Kingston; from here there are several roads
which lead different ways, though they are
opened by the inhabitants, except one which is
the King's and extends up towards the southwest about 20 miles, when it divides into two.
One crosses the Bay Quantie, and extends
nearly through the middle of the peninsula to
the head.* The other turns to the right, and
ektends up the bay on the north side, through
the Mohawk's or Indian land, crosses Myers'
* This is the best road.
Creek and the river Trent, where it empties
into the Bay Quantie, extends a few miles to
the south, and joins with the other on the carrying place. From hence it leads on through
wood land (thinly settled) by Pres'quisle harbour, for about 15 miles, when the country appears more improved, and the road tolerably
good. Within about 60 miles of York, the
road is bad, as the ground is very rich and soft,
and but thinly settled; and about 46 miles from
York, there are two roads—one extends along
the lake shore and is the best—the other leads
about 8 miles to the north; but they meet again
at what is called Lion's Creek and Tavern.
For nearly 30 miles to York, there is but one
road (and that quite bad) till within 9 miles
of the city. From York, there is one road
which extends 40 miles a due north course, to
Lake Simcoe. This road, in most places is
tolerably good. The other road extends up the
lake shore 16 miles to the river Credit, where
it leaves the shore a little to the north, and extends to the head of the lake; this road is not
very good. Two miles from York, on the road
which leads to Simcoe, called Yonge's-street;
another road leads out, extending to the head
of the lake called Dundas-street, which is completely straight for 260 miles to the river
Thames, near Detroit. Although it is not
passable in all places, yet where it is not opened, there are other roads near by, which lead
the same way, and enter it again. Where it
crosses the Grand River, over which there is a
good bridge,* three miles above the Mohawk
village of Indians, there is another road turns
to the south, through beautiful and sandy dry
plains, to Turkey-Point, .near Long-Point, in
Lake Erie, which is 35 miles. This road extends up the lake shore to Port-Talbert, although it is not passable the whole way. From
Fort Erie, two miles below the ferry at Blackrock, there extends a road up the shore of Lake
Erie more than 20 miles, and another 18 miles
down to the Niagara falls, here it divides: oue
extends to the west through the Beaver dams
towards the head of Ontario, up the stream of
the twenty mile creek to a little village called
Aswago, and on the main road from Niagara
to Grand River. This is a tolerable good road.
From the falls another extends down the
Niagara river by Queenston to Fort George:
from hence there is a good road up and near
the lake shore for 45 miles, when it turns to
the south over the mountain, and connects with
the one just noticed. 40 miles from Niagara,
at what is called the fifty mile creek, one road
turns to the right and crosses the beach already
mentioned between the lake and Burlington
Bay, towards York. There is also a road that
extends from Queenston towards the head of
the lake through what is called the black
swamp, and joins with the one from Niagara,
about 10 miles from it a little shOreof the 12
mile creek at Shipmau's tavern.
These are all the King's roads or public high
ways: yet there are many more roads throughout all the province, which lead in every direction, and many of them are very good and convenient.
Bearing and distances of places.—The village and fort of Prescott are on the north bank
of the St. Lawrence, opposite to the river Oswegatchie, or the old garrison at Ogdensburgh.
The St. Lawrence is 2 miles wide here and has
a small current. Sixty-five miles farther up
the river, stands Kingston, near the bottom of
- Lake Ontario, nearly opposite, (though a little
to the east) of Sackett's Harbour. The distance from one to another, on a straight line, is
27 miles; though the' nearest way that can be
passed by land on the road, (and a bad one) is
34 miles, and 36 by water or ice.
Seventy-five miles from Kingston is situated
Pres'quisle harbour, already noted. It is nearly opposite the mouth of the Oswego river on
the United States' side. The lake is 67 miles
wide here, but has been crossed in 7 hours.
One hundred miles from this harbour, up the
lake, stands York, nearly opposite Nia
though a little to the north-west, on a straight
line. The distance from one to the other is
34 miles; but by land around the head of Lake
Ontario, it is -00 miles.„ Niagara is opposite-.
* This bridge is not quite finished..
Niagara Fort, on the United States' side.. The
river is 1200 yards wide here.
Queenston is opposite Lewistown. TurkeyPoint is opposite Pres'quisle. Port-Talbert is
0 miles up the lake. Malden is at the mouth
of the river St. Clair, head of Lake Erie.
Sandwich is 14 miles up opposite Detroit.
The river here is 900 yards wide.
Population.—In the year 1811, the number
of inhabitants in both provinces, was 360,000.
In the upper province, there were 136,000, not
including Indians in the settled parts of the
The number of the militia, or of those who
are liable to do duty, from the age of 16 to 60,
are 22,660, including Indians on the bounds of
the province at that time.
Lea•ning.—The greater part of the inhabitants of Canada are not well educated, for as
they were poor when they came to the province
and the country being .but thinly settled for a
number of years, they had but little chance for
the benefit of schools. But since the country
has become more settled, and the inhabitants
rich, or in a good way of living, which is almost universally the case, they pay considerable attention to learning.
Ten dollars a year is the common price
given for the tuition of each scholar by good
Until lately, there was no Latin or Greek
school kept in the province. Now there are
three—one in York, taught by the Episcopal
minister of that place—one on the Bay (titantie by .a Bidwell, from the United States
—and the biller in Niagara village, by Rev.
Burns. Good encouragement would be given
in many other parts to teachers of such schools,
particularly in the Niagara and London districts.
Notwithstanding I said that the main body
of the inhabitants were not well educated, yet
there are a number of gentlemen in the province
who have the best of learning.
There is a public free school kept in every
district, by order of the King, the teachers of
which receive annually 100 pounds sterling
from the crown.
Morals.—It is an idea entertained by the
generality of the people of the United States,.
that the inhabitants of Canada are some of the
worst people in the world, made up of rogues,
murderers, and the like mean characters. However, the idea is entirely false. That there has
some bad characters escaped from different
parts of the United States to Canada, no one
will deny; but these cannot be called the inhabitants, but only sojourners. But I may say,
whether I am believed or not, that the main
body of the people of Canada are peaceable,
just, and generous in all their intercourse with
each other, and strangers also; they are benevolent, being once poor themselves, they know
bow to feel for human want and human wo. I
have been acquainted with some of the inhabitants of almost every neighbourhood, and have
found them to be nearly all alike, except those
from England or Ireland. I have also attended a number of the courts of justice, and was
surprised to see so little business done at them.
The most of the inhabitants of the western or
upper part of the province are from the states
of New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New-York,
and yet retain a considerable, degree of that
rectitude of conduct and conversation observed
among the Quakers and Presbyterians in those
States.. There is hardly ever an instance of a
person stealing in this province, :not perhaps
because all the inhabitants are too good, but
partly from this cause, and partly because the
penalty annexed to the crime is death; however, no one has been put to death in the province yet.
Religion.—About one half of the people of
Canada that have come to the age of maturity,
are professors of religion: however, as in all
other places they are of different sentiments
and sectaries. The Methodists are the most
numerous, and are scattered all over the prosince. The other sectaries are more local, and
are as follows: there are 15 churches of Baptists, about 1000 in number, and 11 preachers;
1 church in Bastard township, 1 in Thurlow,
1 in Sidney, 1 in Percy, 1 in Hallowell, I in
Sufiasburgh, (these 5 last are on the Bay Quantie) 1 in Cramahe, 1 inHildamin, 1 in Whitby,
1 in Markham, 1 in Townsend, I in Oxford,
I in Charlotteville, 1 in Clinton, and I in Niagara. There are 6 Ministers and congregations of Episcopalians: I at Cornwall, 1 at
Kingston, I at York, I at Niagara, 1 at Turkey-Point, 1 at Sandwhich.* , There are 10
congregations of Presbyterians, and 7 Ministers. One in London district (Townsend) a
Mr. Colver, Minister, a very old gentleman;
I in Ancaster, near the head of Ontario, a Mr.
Williams, Minister; 1 on the 20 mile creek,
20 miles from Niagara, a Mr. Eastman, Minister; I in Niagara village, a Mr. Burns, Minister; 1 in York, no Minister; I on the Bay
Quantie, I in Kingston, and 3 below. There
are 5 congregations of Quakers or Friends: 1
in Adolphustown, 30 miles west of Kingston
on the Bay Quantie, I in Iioxbridge, 30 miles
north-east of York, on a new township, 1 on
Yonge-street near Lake Simcoe, 1 in the 'township of Norwhich, on the river Thames, and 1,
at the short hills, not far from Lake Erie, 30
miles south-west of Niagara. There is also a
considerable number of the Dutch Moneasts in
the province; a large settlement of them reside
in Clinton township, not far from Niagara, as
also another in Markham, near York, and on
Yonge-street, and some other parts. There is
* There is also another congregation and Minister
on Yonge-street lately become such: a Mr. Joseph
Lockwood, once a Methodist, is their Minister.
also some Tunkers in the province, and a few
Roman Catholics. They have a chapel in
Cornwall, and in Kingston and Sandwhich.
There is also some other sectaries in the province, all of :which enjoy full liberty of conscience to worship God as they please, and are
protected by law from penalties, impositions,
-yr burthens of any kind relative to religious
concerns. The Episcopal clergy are paid by
the King. " The one seventh part of all the
land in Upper Canada is appropriated,'according to the constitution, for the maintenance of .
a protestant clergy within the province," This
land lies in 200 acre lots, and is leased out for
21 years, at 2 dollars the first 7 years of the
lease, 4 dollars the second 7, and _6 dollars
the third 7. The rent of these lots, called
Clergy reserves, is given to the Clergy to the
amount of 800 dollars a year. The Clergy of
the other sectaries are paid, according to the
will and bounty of their hearers. There has
been no general revival of religion of late in
Canada, yet the people in general pay a very
serious attention to it, and attend to preaching
very well. Profane swearing is seldom heard,
and the sabbath is regarded with considerable
reverence. Bigotry or superstition is not often
to be discovered among the inhabitants of Canada, of course they do not persecute each
other, but are friendly and loving.
Diversions. The inhabitants of almost every country have their diversions, which vary
according to their notions of pleasure. Of
course, the people of Canada have theirs,
which however, are of an exercising and innocent nature.
Meeting together at private houses and dancing is a favourite a rsement of the young people. This, however, is not carried to excess.
, Hunting deer and bears in the winter is also
a diversion, and a very profitable one.
Sleighing is another amusement of which the
people are very fond, and forwhich they are
well prepared, as it respectSlhorses, sleighs,
clothing, and furs. They also very much esteem the music of bells, some 'having at times
40 on the harness of 2 horses. Much produce
is taken to market in the winter by sleighs, in
which is connected both pleasure and profit.
As this is a level Country, and the snow lies
deep all winter, there is very good sleigh.
tng. Most of the people, drive Jehu like, or
The melody of the human voice is also an:
amusement of the-young people of both sexes.
Teachers of this art will meet with good encouragement in almost every part of Canada.
Comparatively speaking, Canada is but a new
thinly settled country; yet, contrary to the ens
tom of the inhabitants of such places, the people here dress well at all times, but when they
go abroad, or on the sabbath, they dress very
line. When I say they dress fine, I do not
mean that fancied fineness, studied and prac-
Used in large cities and populous places—such
as jewels, rings, ribands, powder, paint, and
the like; but with garments of the finest stuffs,
with but few trinkets of any kind. The most
of their clothing is of their own manufacturing,
particularly the woolen, for which they have
plenty of the best of wool.
Horse-racing, card-playing, and the like unprofitable and sinful diversions are very seldom
performed in Canada.
Drunkenness and dissipation are seldom seen
among the people. As all have to get their
living by their labour, there appears to be but
little time or temptation to frequent taverns for
The people of Canada pay very little attention to any kind of diversion in the summer,
except to visit one another in a social manner,
and drink tea, of which they are very fond,
and a friendly chit-chat. , The most of their
conversation at these times relate to their former poverty and present plenty, and to which
I was happy to listen, whenever it happened
in my hearing, as it indicated a contented and
thankful mind in their present situation; and
could wish and say with propriety—Esto perpetua, or, malr it last for ever.
Manufactures.-11 is not to be expected that
the manufactories of Canada are many or extensive'. There is some iron made in the province, though the quantity is small.
Salt also is made here, though to a small
amount, but might be made in great quantities.
Hats, shoes, boots, and tin and crockery
ware are manufactured here in great plenty.
Linen and woollen cloths are made in abundance.
Whiskey, and apple and peach brandy are
also made in considerable quantities.
Promiscuous Remarks on the Government.
The constitution, laws, and government of
Upper Canada are much better than people,
unacquainted with them, expect. -It is not my
intention here to write much respecting the government though I had taken much pains in
studying it with an intention of publishing the
result of my inquiries on the subject. One year
before the declaration of war by the American
government against England, while in Canada
I issued proposals for a geographical and politicalview of the province; but, as it is now
generally expected that the province will fall
into the hands of the American government I
shall make only a few remarks on the subject.
In the year 1791, the then called province of
Quebec, was by an act of the British parliament divided into two separate provinces—to
be called the province of Lower Canada, and
the province of Upper Canada. By this act, a
constitution was formed for each province, each
in its nature calculated to suit the situation of
their respective inhabitants—one being chiefly '
settled by the French, and the other by the
The constitution put it out of the power of
the British parliament to impose any taxes on
the people, either upon their property or trade,
but what was necessary for the regulation of
commerce: but this should be disposed of by
the legislature of the province, for the benefit
of the same. The constitution also provides
for the creation of a legislative council and a
legislative assembly. The King also sends a
governor who acts in the King's name. The
members of the legislative council are selected
by the King and governor jointly; these hold
their seats during life if they do not forfeit it.
The members of the legislative assembly are
elected every 4th year by the freemen of the
province. Any man of the age of 24, and who
is worth property to the amount of 40s. a year,
and has been in the province 7 years, may be
elected a member of the legislative assembly,
or vote for one.* The making of laws for the
welfare of the people is the business of the legislative assembly, must be assented to by the
legislative council and governor, in the King's
name, before they become laws, yet the legislative council, governor, British parliament or
King, cannot make any laws for the people
of Canada, " without the advice and consent
of the legislative assembly."
From hence we see that the people have got
the means of guarding themselves. About 12
years ago, the assembly passed an act dividing
the province into districts or ridings, every one
of which sends one member to parliament or
the assembly. The number of members at present, August, 1812, is 26, two-thirds of which
are natives of the United States;* less than one
third of the justices of the peace are Americans,
the sheriffs are either Europeans or loyalists;
the jury, according to the constitution, must be
taken in rotation from each township, as their
names stand on the assessment roll, or list of
names; of course the majority are always Americans. The majority of the courts of quarter
sessions, probate, surrogate, and courts of
King's bench, are Europeans; yet the proceedings of those courts are regulated by the acts
of the assembly.
In-the second Session of the first parliament,
in 1792-3, an act was passed to prevent the
further introduction of slaves. The excellent
words of that act being thus:—" Whereas it is
unjust that a people who enjoy freedom, by law
should encourage slavery That after the
passing of this act, no person brought into the
province shall be subject to the condition of a
slave." _ All that were then in the province are
free at 25 years of age.
The taxes in Canada are very small, no person is taxed more than one penny upon the
pound sterling he is worth, according to the va-
* The people vote in Canada by word of mouth.
* No minister of the gospel can get in either house,
of course the people are not afraid of spiritual tyranny.
luation of property made by act of parliament,
and which_at present is not more than half of
what it would sell for. The taxes so collected
are laid out by the judges of the court of quarter sessions, for the benefit of the district from
which it is collected, and where the court is—
it is to pay the wages of the members of assembly sent from the district, and half of the salary
of the sheriffs of the same; to build or repair
the court-house or jail, and the like. The whole
expense of the government of Canada, except
what is here noted, is paid by the King, which,
together with the Indian department, cost him
1. million and a half sterling annually, and which.
frees the people from a great burthen.
The Moneasts, Tunkers, and quakers, are
exempted from military duty by paying annually in time of peace 5 dollars, and in time of
war 20. The governor of the province has
power by law to call out all the militia, and to
cross them over the line in pursuit of an enemy
that has invaded the province, or to destroy
any fort or fortification, that may be the means.
of covering or assisting an invasion, but in no
Stealing exposes a person to death, if the
thing stolen is worth 13 pence, yet the plaintiff
may value it as low as be pleases, and if below
13 pence, the thief is clear. No one has yet
been hung in Upper Canada for stealing, however the people are afraid to venture their lives
in the hands of others.
1DESGRIFTION OF NIAGARA FALLS.
MANY' writers have attempted to describe
this curiosity of nature; yet all the descriptions
that I have read, appear to me not to be sufficiently illustrative or correct: I will therefore
describe it myself, in as plain a manner as possible, unadorned with any fanciful strokes of
In order,to have a proper view of the falls,
and adjacent parts, I will suppose a person to
be sailing in a little boat, out of Lake Ontario,
up the Niagara river or outlet of Lake Erie.
.Soon after you leave the lake, you pass the village of Niagara, on the right hand, and Niagara old fort on the U. S. side. A little further
up, you pass fort George on the right—here
the water is deep and smooth. You still sail
on a due south course, the water being smooth,
and the banks about 16 feet high, and in most
places perpendicular for 7 miles. Here you
come to ,Queenston on the right hand, and
Lewistown on the left, or United States side.
This place is called the landing, for here all
the lading of vessels destined for the country,
each side of Lake Erie, and the Michigan territory, are taken out and conveyed up the mountain or slope 9 miles to the still water, 2 miles,
above the falls. The ascent of this slope,
though 300 feet high, is very easy. The river
here is half a mile wide, and a little . above
there is a whirl of considerable depth, :though
not dangerous.* After you pass this place 300
yards, you enter the dismal chime: andinstead
of the lively prospect of the sailing of ships
with flying colours, fruitful fields and pleasant
landscapes, you are all at once buried in a grave
of at least 300 feet deep. Although it is open
at the top, should you look up, the sight is truly gloomy: the banks are perpendicular, and
in some places more than perpendicular, abounding with craggy rocks hanging over your head_
in a frightful manner; near the surface, there is
to be seen flat rocks projecting towards each
other in a horizontal position.t You still row
on a south direction with little variation, the
water is considerably rapid, and the banks have
nearly the same appearance, until within about
* This place is memorable. Here the Americans
crossed on the 13th of October 1812, to invade Canada.
e. Down in this dreadt This place is also memorabl
ful chime, a number of the American soldiers were
drove headlong by the Indians, after they had surrendered themselves prisoners of war to the British, on the
13th of October, 1812.
a mile of the cataract, where the banks are not
quite so high; but still all is gloomy, as you are
buried from the sight of the land of the living,
and must be filled with haunted thoughts of 500
murdered dead, that in one fatal hour, plunged
into the mighty grave near which you now are.*
As you proceed, the water becomes very
rapid, and at length the mighty falls appear in
full tremendous view, and fill the ear with dismal roar. It is 8 miles from Queenston. When
you arrive within 300 yards of the cataract, you
must stop. Here the bed of the river widens,
and is not sunk more than half the distance below the surface, as it was at your first entrance
of the chime. A view of the horizon is of course
more extensive. In sitting in your little bark,
the above distance, with your face to the south,
before you flows the main body of water, and
plunges over with a tremendous dash. About
60 yards. of the middle of this cataract is much
deeper than the rest in consequence of a chime
* Some distance below the falls, on the U. S. side,
near the chime, there is a hole, called the Devil's Hole,
300 yards in circuit, and 300 feet deep, with trees and
craggy rocks sticking to the inner surface. In the
French war in this province, in 1759, there was a company of 500 American and British soldiers, with all
their baggage waggons, marching by the hole; when
they were all driven into it, at the point of the bayonet,
by a company of French, who lay in ambush. Only 2
men escaped. One of them now lives 5 miles from the
sunk in the rock. The water has a bluish
green appearance. On your left hand, comes
the other part of the river not so large by a
sixth part, and falls over also.
This river is divided into two separate pitches,
each 400 yards in width.* This division is
made by a small island, crowding up to the
verge of the rock, near the middle. It extends
half a mile up the stream, and terminates in a
point, where the water divides to the right
The form of the cataract bends inwards, or
is nearly a semicircle. By the striking force
of the falling water on that below, wind is
pressed under, which rises below in a foaming
manner, though not to any height of violence:I
The lime-stone rock, on the U. S. side, over
which the water flows, shelves considerably,
and leaves a large cavity between the base and
falling column of water; and, were it not for
the depression of air, a person might walk some
distance in it without being wet.
The mighty dash of so great a body of water on the bed below, raises a fog or small rain,
which mounts up and spreads to a considerable
distance, in which, (when the sun shines) may
* Great numbers of small eels may be seen on the
edge of the beach below the falls. They are trying to
get over, but cannot succeed, unless some one assists
t This Mr. Ellicott compares to cocks of hay; bat, I
have never seen any thing of that appearance.
be seen a variety of beautiful rainbows. In the
winter, this rain lighting upon the neighbouring
trees, congeals in a thousand shapes, forming a
romantic and pleasing appearance.
About half a mile above the falls, what are
called the rapids begin, and descend 50 feet to
the cataract.* The water descends below the
falls 70 feet.' The draft of this rapid is so great,
that it often reaches ducks and geese, when
they appear to be half a mile out of danger, and
when once under the influence of the impetuous current, they cannot get on the wing again.
Indians, with their canoes have been known to
be irresistably carried down the rapid, and have
disappeared for ever.
Above this rapid, the river spreads to nearly
3 miles wide, and is shallow, with several small islands.
The river now has a south-east• course to
Grand Island, 9 miles wide, and then south to
Lake Erie, where it is only a mile wide. This
is 20 miles from the falls by water. From this
place, you may sail more than 1000 miles if
you wish, to the end of Lake Superior, without encountering any more falls.
If my reader pleases, I will invite him bark '
again, to view and contemplate a little more
this awful scene. On both sides of the rapids,
above the falls, the banks of the river are quite
low, and there are many convenient situations
* The bed of the rapids is very rocky.
for water works. Several are now erected, yet
there is room for more. With a small exvense, a large quantity of water can be brought
in use to do great execution.
The perpendicular pitch of this vast body of
water is 144 feet—add to this 50 feet above
and 70 feet below, and we find that the river
descends in 8 miles and a half, 264 feet. Some
who have never seen this river, suppose it to be
much less than it is, while others suppose it to be
larger. Indeed it is hard for any one to judge
with propriety, that has seen it, as there are
but 8 miles in the whole length of the river, between the two lakes where any current can be
seen, and that is very rapid.
For the contemplation of the curious, who
may perhaps never see these falls, I have made
the following calculation, from which they may
form some tolerably correct idea of the quantity of water that falls over this cataract.
Say that each of the spaces over which the
water pitches is 400 yards wide, or 1200 feet.
T.he most shallow one of these, or that on the
U. S. side, is 3 feet deep, on the verge of the
rock over which it falls. Now if we multiply
its depth (3 feet) into its width, (1200 feet) we
have 3600 cubic or solid feet of water on the
verge of the precipice. As there are 62 pounds
avoirdupois in a cubic or solid foot of water,
(and a little more, which we will leave out to
avoid fractions) so if we multiply 62 (the pounds
in a square foot of water) into 3600 (the number of feet of water on the verge) we have
223,200 pounds of water on the verge of the
precipice. But when we consider the laws of
gravity respecting spouting fluids and falling
bodies, we shall find that the water of this cataract receives a vast additional weight by the
time it comes to the lowest point of fall. In
order, therefore, to find this additional weight,
we must not the following things:" Heavy bodies near the surface of the earth,
fall 1 foot the first quarter of a second, 3 feet
the second, 5 feet the third, and .7; feet in the
fourth quarter; that is, 16 feet in The first second. Let go three bullets together—stop the
first at one second, and it will have fallen 16
feet; stop the next at the end of the second second, and it,will have fallen (2 x 2=1) 4 times
16, or 64 feet; and stop the last at the end of
the third second, and the distance fallen will be
(3 x 3 =9) 9•times 16 or 144 feet, and so on.
Now the momentum, or force with which -a falling body strikes. is equal to its weight multiplied by its velocity," and in order to find which
• me must " multiply the perpendicular space
fallen through by 64, and the square root. of the
product is the velocity required." See Pike's
drithmetic page 362-5.
u lation, we find that the water of
this cataract is 3 seconds descending the 144.
feet and that the velocity acquired in that time
and distance to be 96, which if we multiply into
223,200, the number of pounds of water on the
top of the rock, we find that 21,427,200 is the
weight thereof at its lowest point of fall: this is
the weight of the water of the smallest part of
the cataract, or that on the United States' side.
The other part of the falls as has been noted,
is at least 6 times as large, that is 6 times the
quantity of water flows over it. NOw if we
multiply the above sum (21,427,200) by 6, we
shall have the enormous sum of 128,563,200
pounds of water which
falls on the bed of the
No wonder then that the solid rock and distant Surface bend beneath the mighty pressure,
and that the sound is often heard at the distance of 20, and sometimes 50 miles. However, it must be here noticed that falling bodies
meet with resistance from.the air through which
they pass, which is always in proportion to the
distance fallen, the velocity of the motion and
dimensions of their surfaces; or in other words,
the water of this cataract is considerably resisted by the air through which it falls, from
which circumstance it appears that there ought
to be some reduction from its weight or striking
force, at its lowest point of fall: yet when we
observe that fluids act by pressure and gravity
both, and that every part of this cataract is of
some depth, and about 60 yards is 18 feet deep,
where the pressure is great, of course we may
fairly calculate that the pressure outbalances
the resistance. But as fluids are non-elastic,
they do not produce but half the effect of perfect elastic bodies. Were the water-of this ca-
taract a perfect elastic body and fell on a perfect elastic base, the striking force and sound
would be just 4 times as great as it now is.
Several writers who have wrote a description
Of this cataract and the adjacent- parts, have
stated that the falls were once clown at the landihig on the north side of the slope or mountain
already noted. And " that from the great.
length of time, quantity of water, and distance
from which it fell, the solid rock is wore away
fOr 7 miles up the stream, to where it is now."'
To me it is plain that neither of these assertions are true. Whoever will take the pains
to view the chasm from the beginning of the
slope through which the water now flows up t©
the falls, must be convinced of the mistake, for
the banks are not solid rock, but are in some
places sand, in others sand and clay, and in
others solid ruck, as also trees, bushes, loose
rocks and stones, but in very few places are
banks of solid rock on both sides.* That the
cataract was ever down at the north side of the
slope, is a conjecture to me very improbable, for if it was ever there, it must have fallen from
those flat and horizontal rocks already named,
and which are near the surface of the ground.
* General Lincoln, who visited and viewed
on a careful ex-
of this river in the year 1794, says,
amination of the banks of the river it was evident that
there was no good foundation for this (the above) opinion." See a note in Morse's Gazetteer, printed in Boston, in 1797, under the word Niagara.
The surface of the ground, or top of the slope,
where the falls are supposed once to have been,
is 8 feet higher than the still water above the
rapids already noted, according to measurement, and but 1 foot lower than the lower end
of Lake Erie.
Now as there is a considerable hollow on
the United States side, about half way between
the falls and the top of the mountain, it is evident the whole river would have found its way
into Lake Ontario through this hollow r rather
than rise at least 30 feet to flow over the top
of the mountain or slope.
From the falls, the ground is level in every
direction, and on the Canada side, fields are
cultivated to the verge of the bank in some
places. The cataract may be seen from some
directions, at the distance of 4 miles. A little
above these falls there is a spring emitting a
gas, or an inflammable air, which, if confined
in a pipe or tube, and fire set to it, will burn.
It is curious to see all the trees near this cataract cut on the bark for a considerable distance up, all over with the initials or first letters
of person's names, with the year in which they
were cut: some of these dates are of considerable age; I discovered two that had been made
'1207 years, or in 1606, which was but two years
before the province was settled by the French,
though it was discovered by the English 316
years ago, or in the year 1497. There is a
ladder provided 144 feet long, to go down into
the chasm, though but few will venture.
The Massaugus nation of Indians used to
sacrifice to this cataract, before they were visited by the Roman Catholic priests.
About two years ago, some of the island already named fell to the bottom with a great
Remarks relative to the Situation of the People of Canada, respecting the War: and a
Concise History of its Progress to the present date.
In writing upon this subject, I feel as if I
'as treading upon delicate ground. Although
I feel as much neutrality in the contest as perhaps it is possible for any one to feelr except
that I have one wish, which is that of peace.
Yet, no doubt, sonic of my readers will find, or
think they find some partiality in my remarks
on the subject.
However, I intend to relate nothing but the
truth, the general knowledge of which, I hope
will be beneficial.
I have already noted that 6 out of 10 of the
inhabitants, were natives of the United States,
or their children born in Canada. These peo* I am told this ladder was fixed here by the orders
and at the expense of a lady from Boston; who after
it was finished was the first that ventured down. I am
sorry that 1 cannot record her name.
pie did. not move to the province because they
preferred the government of Great Britain to
that of the United States, but in order to obtain land upon easy terms, for it must be remembered, that all the land of CaUada now inhabited, was given to the people by the King,
who bought it of the Indians.*
It must here be mentioned also, that in order
to obtain this gift, they were under the necessity of taking the oath of allegiance to his majesty, the King.
While the congress of the United States
were in debate, relative to the declaration of
war against England, and all her territories
and dependencies, the parliament of Canada
passed a law providing for the raising and
training one-third of the militia of the province,
between the age of 18 and 45, called flank
companies. And at the same time passed an
act for the formation of a peculiar kind of an
oath of allegiance, to be administered to the
militia, at the discretion of the governor.
This oath was the subject of great complaint,
and many refused to take it, insomuch, that the
governor thought proper to lay it by.
At this session, there was an attempt made
to pass an act to suspend for 18 months, the
* At present there is a small consideration required,
and should this land be sold at any time to any person,
such person must take the oath of allegiance within
one year, or the land falls back to the King.
habeas corpus act,--,and thereby to deprive the
people of the process of trial by court and jury
in certain cases. However, it did not pass by
some odds.—lIad this act passed, there is no
doubt but that a rebellion would have taken
place. - The act that was passed for the organization of a part of the militia, was carried into
effect without any opposition, as but few expected that the declaration of war would take
place; indeed, but few knew that such an act
was under consideration; the invasion of Canada was contemplated but by few. When - war was declared against England
which was the 18th of June, Mr. Foster, Minister from the court of Great Britian, to the
United States, sent an express to Canada from
Washington, with great speed.
When the government were informed of the
event, the flank companies were ordered to
Fort Qeorge, and other places on the lines,
with great expedition.
They were told that they must go to such
places to get, their muskets, after which they
might return. This order they obeyed with
cheerfulness, not .knowing that war was declared, or that they should be detained, which
lmwever was the case.
Had they known of .the declaration of war,
and that they were to be detained for that purpose, I am of opinion that but few would have •
complied with the orders, though most of them-
were under obligation so to do, having taken
an oath to that effect.*
At the same time the regular soldiers were
marched from York to Fort George. A11 the
Indian warriors on Grand River were called
for, and they went down immediately,—but
soon returned. After this the chiefs made an
agreement with the governor, and were to have
good wages to engage in the war, after which
they returned again.
In a little time after this the flank companies
raised in different parts of the province some
distance from Fort George, were tailed to it;
and at the same time Gen. Hull invaded the
province at Sandwich, nearly 300 miles west
of Fort George. I then lived on the main.
road that leads to it, on which all the soldiers
passed, and conversed with some hundreds of
them, respecting their feelings and views, and
found that nearly all of them were of the same
mind, and that was, if Hull came down to Fort
George, (which was the universal expectation)
and they were ordered to march against him,
they would not obey. Such was their dread
of war, and partiality to the United States'
government. But not a man would have joined
him and fought against the King, as was the
* Upon the declaration of war, the governor issued
a proclamation, making it treason for any one to cross
the line. Had not this been done, one half of the people would have left the province: all the boats were
taken out of the water, and put under guard.
opinion. But the event was, Hull did not come,
but continued at Sandwich, and sent a proclamation among the people, telling them he was
come to deliver them from tyranny, and that
he was able to accomplish the task; but, at the
same time, he invited them to join him, like
true rebels against their King and oaths, or el§e
stay at home and mind their own work; but if
any should come against him, and be found
fighting by the side of an Indian, they should
be murdered without mercy. I believe almost
every one that saw or heard of this proclamation, treated its contents with contempt. People are hardly ever so willing to do wrong from
the advice of others, as of their own accord.
. Now to take up arms against their King,
whom they had sworn to protect, was too much.
They were offended at any man, who could
think them capable of such conduct; and as to
assisting Hull in freeing them from tyranny, it
was a mere notion—for if they had been under
any, they could at any time have crossed the
line to the United States. But they were told
that they might stay at home and mind their
business;—this proposal they would willingly
have acceded to, for they dreaded the war with
their whole souls. Some of them indeed took
the friendly advice, for which they were
sharply rebuked by their rulers, and in consequence of this some fled to the wilderness, and
some remain there until this day for aught I
know;* but all of them were much exasperated
against Hull, for threatening not to give any
one quarters, who should be found fighting by
the side of an Indian.
They were well assured thatHunknew every man in Canada to be under the controul of
the government, and that they were obliged to
bear arms, and at least to march where they
were ordered, and that they could not prevent
the Indians from marching with them. They
also knew that they must commence an engagement, should they be brought in sight of Hull's
army; but in the confusion of a battle, should
one take • place, many hoped to make their eswever, after this dreadful decape to Hull. Ho
claration, no one had any such view, believing
if they should leave the British army, from
among the Indians, and go to Hull, that he
would kill them according to his promise.
This operated very much in favour of the British cause.
It was generally thought in Canada, that if
Hull had marched with haste from Sandwich
to Fort George, the province would then have
been conquered without the loss of a man:. for
at that time the British would not have been
able to bring more than 1200 men to oppose
him, before lie could have reached the Niagara
river,* and co-operated with the army on the
east side, who then could have come over with
safety, and so there would been an end of the
unhappy war perhaps.
But, contrary to all expectation, Hull ,remained at Sandwich, till General Bro ck issued
his proclamation to the people, telling them
that Hull was sent by Madison to conquer the
province for Bonaparte, and if they did not repel him they would be sent to France. This
was a successful step tow ards a preparation to
oppose Hull. Brock then beat up for volunteers at Fort George, to go with him and oppose the invader, promising all who would engage with him to fare the same with himself,
and have 200 acres of land.—About 300 turned
out, and took water to go by the way of Lake
Erie. At the same time he sent 2 pieces of flying artillery, and a few regulars by land. He
had also 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 ow n accord, and others were
persuaded so to refuse by a Mr. Cnlver, a Mr.
Beamer, and one more, who rode among the
people for six days, telling them to stand back.
However, they were apprehended, and the most
of the people became obedient. After this they
had their choice to go or stay, and some went.
The result of this expedition is sufficiently-public, and need not be inserted here. However,
* A very few fled to Hull, but when.he gave them up
they were not hurt, but put in jail. It has been reported that they were hanged; but this is without founda'tion.
it may here be remarked, that the capture of
Hull and his army with the surrender of the
fort of Detroit, and all the Michigan Territory,
were events which the people of Canada could
scarcely believe, even after they were known
to be true. Indeed when I saw the officers and
soldiers returning to Fort George, with the
spoils of my countrymen, I could scarcely believe my own eyes. The most of the people
in Canada think that Hull was bribed by the
British to give up the fort.
After this event, the people of Canada be
came -fearful of disobeying the government;
some that had fled to the wilderness returned
home; and the friends of the United States
were discouraged, and those of the King encouraged.
Great preparations were now made—the militia were trained every week, and a number
more called out; and some hundreds of regulars came from the lower province. The army
now became respectable, and a dread fell on
those who had opposed the government. The
people now saw that it was as much as their
property and lives were worth to disobey orders,
and now what they had been compelled to do,
after a little while they did from choice.
Things remained in this situation until August, when the parliament met for a short ses..:
sion, and put all the public money into the
hands of the governor, and also passed an act,
making it treason for any person, man or wo-
man, to speak against the administration, or to
refuse going, or persuading any of his majesty's
subjects from going to war; and to subject a
person to a fine of 30 dollars who did not denounce a deserter. They strove hard also to pass
an act to establish the martial law, but the bill
was violently opposed by the friends of the
people, particularly by J. Wilcocks, an Irishman. 'Flue members •of parliament published
an address to the people, in which they all promised to assist in the war, both with their counsel and arms; and when the house dissolved,
the most of them took the field.* •
In the course of the summer, Brock, who
was indeed a very fine man, had rendered himself very dear to all the soldiers at Fort George,
and to the people in general.
In this situation things remained, and the
army increased, until the invasion of the province at queenston, an account of which has
been laid before the public. However,•it may
not be amiss to make a few remarks on the sub. ject.
Early in the morning of the 13th of October,
1812, some Americans landed on the bank at
Quecnston, unobserved; but were soon discovered, and the alarm given, at which time they
retreated unseen (as it was yet dark) through
the village and to Black Swamp,4 miles back.1* If the members of Congress would act thus, it
would make a great alteration in the war.
The most of these came the next day, and gave
themselves up to the British.
At the same time the Americans on the United States side opened their cannon to the British shore to keep them from coining down to
the beach to oppose the invaders then crossing
with boats. At the same time the cannon from
two batteries were levelled against them from
the British side, beside the fire from the small
arms of four hundred soldiers which were stationed there at that time. Yet through all this
opposition the brave Americans effeeted a landing, drove the British back and took possession
of their batteries and cannon, which however
They remained in peace a little while, when
Brock came, rallied about three hundred soldiers, including Indians, and made an attempt
to retake a battery on the side of the slope,
close by queenston, and was killed, two balls
entering his body; his aid-de-camp fell at the
same time, while on his horse encouraging the
people. The Americans were masters of the
ground after that for four hours, in which time
many might have landed, though it was not the
Expresses now went down to Fort George,
miles, and the sound was on the float, hurry
boys, or else our dear general will be killed:
and others cried he is wounded, he is wounded, hurry, hurry, save our governor. Such
sounds filled every bosom with martial fire. A
reinforcement of 1800 soldiers, and 6 pieces of
Hying artillery were soon in marching orders,
under gen. Sheaffe; they ascended the slope
one mile and a half west of the American army,
which was then on the heights above queenston. When they came in sight, they all raised
the Indian war whoop, let loose the cannon,
and rushed on with great impetuosity. The
Americans seemed panic struck, did not form
or fight to any advanta7e, but retreated a small
was in the way:
distance, but the awful
they surrendered, and quarters were given, yet
the Indians who were on the left wing, continued to kill with their tomahawks, which so
exasperated gem Sheaffe, that he threw off his
hat' and stuck his sword in the ground up to the
handle, and declared, that if every man did not
exert himself to prevent the Indians from killing the Americans, after they had surrendered,
he would give up the command and go home.
The militia and regulars then, with much ado,
stopped the Indians from killing. No one can
reflect on this .scene without feeling his heart.
bleed at the view of human misery.*
When I heard the cannon in the morning, I
took my horse and rode down, and on the road
met a number of the Massaugus Indians who
had made their escape; these Indians are a.
very cowardly tribe.
'" The British published the number killed on their
side to be 30, but the true number was 160; chiefly Indians and regulars. The number on the American side
;l as about 260.
After. this the British contemplated another
invasion immediately, and therefore called all
the militia, from 16 to 60, from the river Credit
round the head of Ontario to the west side of
the Grand River, and between the two lakes,
as also more than one half from the London
and Rome districts to Fort George, and other
stations on the Niagara river to Fort Erie,
which made an army of 3000 soldiers. This Order was resisted with considerable spirit, yet it
was too late, for not only the officers of the
army* and the Indians were engaged to compel obedience, but all the militia that had been
in the service; they thought it hard and unreasonable that they must bear all the burden and
dangers of the war, therefore a number of them
were zealously engaged to bring forward the
disobedient, although their neighbours and relations. An example of this sort may be named:
aboul 12 days after the battle, a col. Graham,
on Yonge-street, ordered his regiment to meet,
in order to draft a number to send to Fort
George: however, about 40 (lid nut appear, but
went out into WThitechurch township, nearly a
wilderness, and there joined about 30 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
* At time, many a boy thought he grew a mighty
man ill a few days.
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 not
g(1. 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 this province, I saw about 50 of them
near ,SMith's creek, in Newcastle district, on
the main road, with fife and drum, beating for
volunteers, crying huzza for Madison.
None of the people in this district bore arms
at that time, except 12 at Pres'quisle 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, which
'would be 100 miles from any British force, and
before one could march there, many of the Canada militia would desert, especially if the
American army was large, say 50,000. But
whenever the Americans attempt to land where
there is an army, that army will fight till they
are nearly all destroyed, for they dare not rebel, not having now any faith in any offers of
protection in a rebellion, as they have been deceived. Indeed many of the militia are considerably exasperated against the invaders, for
they think that it is hard that they should feel
the misery of war who have no agency in the
councils of England, and know that the United
States government cannot force any man over
the line, of course those that come, they view
as coming of their own choice, and being as
void of justice and humanity, and therefore deserve to be killed for their intrusion.
In August, the inhabitants were called together, in order that all who had not taken the
oath of allegiance might take it without exception. However, some refused, some were put
in cells, and others were not dealt so hard with.
Many took the oath rather than suffer thus.
-Some time in the month of November, the
Americans became masters of Lake Ontario,
which was very grievous to the British. About
the same time, the governor issued a proclamation ordering all the citizens of the 'ILInited
States, residing in the province of Upper Canada, who had refused to take the oath of allegiance, to leave the province by applying at
certain boards of inspection appointed to etamine into the claims of those who asked that
privilege; and all who did not so receive passports, and leave the province by the first of
January, 1813, and still refused to take the
oath of allegiance, should be considered as alien
enemies and spies, and be dealt with accordingly. This proclamation was of short dura
tion and but little circulated; of course, but few
received the benefit which they ought to have
had, according to Jay's treaty.
The victories that the British obtained over
Hull at Detroit, and Van Rensselear at queenston, were very encouraging to the different
tribes of Indians to engage with them in the
war. At the commencement of the contest, the
most of the Indians refused to take any part in
the war, alleging that the Americans were too
numerous; but they were then told that -although they were numerous, but few would
come over, as the government could not compel them; and that if they (lid not fight they
would loose their land. Some of the white people were also led to believe, that they would
be deprived of their land and other property.
In the course of the summer, on the line between fort George and fort Erie, there were not
more than 1000 Indians under arms at one
.ti me. These Indians go to and fro as they
please, to the country and back, and are very
troublesome to the women when their husbands
are. gone, as they plunder and take what they
,please, and often beat the women, to force them
to give them whiskey, even when they are not
in possession of any; and when they see any
man that has not gone to the lines, they call
him a 'Yankee, and threaten to kill him for not
going to fight; and indeed in some instances,
their threats have been put in execution. They
act with great authority and rage, since they
have stained their hands with human blood.
The inhabitants at large would be extremely
glad to get out of their present miserable situation, at almost any rate; but they dare not venture a rebellion, without being sure of protection. And as they now do not expect that the
American government will ever Send, in a suffi-
ciently large army to afford them a security,
should they rebel, they feel it their duty to kill
all they can while they are coming over, that
they may discourage any more from invading
the province, that the government may give up
the idea of conquering it, and withdraw their
forces, that they may go home also; for they
are greatly distressed in leaving their families
so long, many of whom are in a suffering condition.
Ever since the commencement of the war,
there has been no collection of debts by law, in
the upper part of the province, and towards the
fall in no part; nor would one pay another.
No person can get credit from any one to the
amount of one dollar; nor can any one sell any
of their property for any price, except provision or clothing; for those who have money,
are determined to keep it for the last resort.
No business is carried on by any person, except what is absolutely necessary for the time.
In the upper part of the province, all the
schools are broken up, and no preaching is
heard in all the land. All is gloomy—all is
war and misery.
Upon the declaration of war, the governor
laid an embargo on all the flour, wheat, and
pork then in the province, destined for market,
which was at a time when very little had left
the province. The next harvest was truly
bountiful, as also the crops of corn, buckwheat,
and peas; the most of which were gathered, ex-
cept the buckwheat, which was on the ground
when all the people were called away after the
battle of queenston; so that the people have
a plenty of provision as yet (April, 1813.) But
should the war continue, they must. suffer, as
not more than one half of the farmers, especially of the upper part of Canada, sowed any winter grain, because when they ought to have
done it, they were called away to the lines.
Although I say that the people in general have
grain enough, yet some women are now suffering for bread, as their husbands are on the
lines, and they and their children have no money nor credit, nor can they get any work to do.
As soon as the snow fell in Canada, and the
sleighing became good, (which was in the last
of November) the British exerted themselves
to the utmost to provide for the support of the
war. A large price was offered for flour and
pork, particularly near the line of the lower
part of the state of New-York, on the St. Lawrence, and near the line of Vermont and NewHampshire, in order to get a large supply for
another year, and to induce the citizens of the
United States to transgress the laws; and it
appears that some, by the love of money, were
prevailed upon to do it.
In the months of December and January,
some hundreds of sleighs were almost constantly on the road from Montreal and other places
in the lower province, carrying provisions and
military. stores to Kingston, York, Niagara,
and other parts in the upper province. But
where all these provisions came from I am not
able to say.
About this time in December, the British also
were making preparations to assemble a large
force at Kingston, in order to cross the lower
end of Lake Ontario on the ice, and if possible
to destroy the American vessels laying at Sackett's Harbour, which they considered as powerful and dangerous: and to effect this they were
determined to lay out all their strength, or all
that they possibly could spare for that business.*
In the month of December about 120- ship
carpenters came from the lower province to
Kingston and York, in order to build 7 vessels
on Lake Ontario. The government expected
to have them finished by the time the ice was
out of the lake, which 7, with that were then
nearly fit for use, would make a fleet of 11 sail,
which it was thought would be sufficient to regain possession of Lake Ontario. However,
.1r Some time in February, information reached the
United States that the governor of the lower province
had arrived at Kingston with 5000 troops, which, together with what was stationed there, and with what
might he collected of the militia round about, would
make aft army of 9000 strong and I have wondered why
they did not make an attempt while the ice wasstron;
bat i as it.was,,not done, I am inclined to believe that Mei
militia woni4 not go over for that purpose, as the? laWi
does not oblige them.
am fully of opinion that the BritiSh will not be ,
able to finish more than 3 before the ice leaven
Some little time before Mil invaded the province, there was an armistice entered into by
the commanders of the armies on both sides of
the line, at which time a number of militia
were permitted, to go home, and which was a
joyful thing to them. When this armistice was
made known to Mr. Madison he refused to
agree to ,it, and when notice was given of his
refusal to the governor of Canada, all the militia were called back. Some time before the
battle of Queenston, there was another armistice agreed upon for an unlimited time, but the
conditions were such, that if either party wished
to commence hostilities, that party should give
the other four days notice. Immediately upon
this agreement; almost all the militia were perraided to go home, and about one half of them
had got some miles on the road, and some that
lived nigh to the line had got once more to the
bosom of their families, with the sweet hope of
never again returning to the place of (hanger
• and death. But oh, hard fate! notice was sent
from the American side that the armistice must
end in four days; of course, all the militia that
had got home, or on their way, were called
back again, and with a heavy heart many a
man parted with the Wife of his bosom, and
children of his love, .for the last time.
The Indians are forbid by the British go.
vernment from crossing the lines at any time or
place, and are watched and guarded for fear
they will; for the British know that if the Indians were permitted to cross and commit depredations on the United States side, that it
would unite all the people against them.*
They told me that none of the Indians took
any scalps from women Of children but only
from those whom they had killed in battle; but
they wished that the governor would give
them money for scalps, they would kill plenty.
I was told when they took these scalps down
to Fort George, the governor and col. Claus
reproved them for their conduct, and told them
to take no more scalps at any time or place.
In making these remarks I do not wish to
be understood that I believe the British government is too good to wish or permit the Indians
to kill and scalp any that lies in their power.
I do not pretend to say or judge how this is,
but I was led to believe that the British did not
allow the Indians to take scalps or else they
kept the thing very secret. However, I do not
pretend to determine.
The inhabitants in general feel as if they
were fighting against their own fathers, broThe Indians took a number of scalps at the battle
of Brownstown; I asked some who stopped at my house,
if the governor gave them money for them, they told
me not: but they said they took them to show the governor how many they killed.
titers, and sons, which in many instances is actually the case. In the first of the 'war the peo. ple of Canada seemed panic struck; they ceased from all business, they even neglected to
prepare or eat food, until hunger compelled
them to it. 'Ilowever, after a while they began
to do a little work, yet only what was needful
at the present time.
The opinion of many in Canada now is that
the province ought now to be conquered for the
good of the inhabitants on both sides, for many
in Canada since the war, on the British side,
have showed themselves strong friends to the
United States, and are marked by the British
government as objects of revenge on that account. Here there has been a considerable
number of Indians killed by-the Americans,
which has so exasperated those now alive, that
should there be a treaty Made, and those Indians allowed as much liberty as they now
have, they -would continually be crossing the
line and committing murders on the inhabitants
of the frontiers to revenge the Is of their kindred. And also because there has a number of
Americans left the province since the war, either by permission or without, and a number of
these have land and other property there which
they never can obtain again, except the province is conquered: for it must be noticed that
all the land in Canada has been given to the
first settlers by the King, and it is specified in
every original deed, which is a deed of gift,
that no person can hold it by transferment more
than one year, except they take the oath of allegiance to his majesty. .Now, although this
is the law, and it is so specified in every original deed, yet very few people knew it to be
the case that went from the United States and
bought land, of course many have lived there
on their land a number of years without taking
the oath, and as many of such have come away
rather than take the oath, of course their lands,
according to law, will fall back to the King.
After the battle of queeuston, the British
continued to augment their forces on the line
between Forts George and Erie.
About the 20th of Oct. was the usual time
for a number of Indians from Lake Simeoe,
principally of the Massaugas tribe, to assemble
at York, (about 1200 in number) in order to
hold their fall council, and receive their gifts.
Gen. Sheaffe met them there, and after they
had received their gifts, proposed to the warriors to go, to Fort George and engage in_the war_
However-they declined goirsg: As their squaws
were with them.
The general then gave them a very large ox
and two barrels of whiskey, upon which they
had a merry feast and a war dance; at the same
ti me they declared war against the United
States in a formal manner. In moving in a
circuitous form, whenever they came towards
the United States, they held up their hatchet,
gave a strike in the air and a yell.
This was about 3 o'clock, and by 5, about
350 embarked and as many more riflemen with
the general for Fort George, and the old Indians and squaws returned to Lake Simcoe.
The garrison at York was then almost destitute of soldiers, but in a little time the militia
to a considerable amount were called in.
About this time, or a little after, the Americans came on shore 18 miles above Kingston,
and burnt a vessel belonging to Mr. Fairfield,
and took another on the lake.
Things remained in this situation till about
the 20th of Nov. when gen. Chandler invaded
Canada, about 50 miles from Montreal, with
300 soldiers. It appears that in destroying an
old fortification some of the men were killed.
On the 27th of Nov. gen. Smyth made all
attempt to cross from Black Rock into Canada
(river one mile 'wide) he first sent 300 soldiers
and sailors under capt. King: they stormed 3
batteries, and spiked the cannon with the loss
About 10 o'clock the same day, some soldiers went over, burnt some houses and brought
away considerable plunder.
After gen. Smyth had embarked the troops
twice lie gave over the project, and for which
he has been severely censured by many; but
upon the whole, perhaps it was best, as at that
time he was not able to take over with him
more that 2500 soldiers, which was not enough,
as the British had at that time 5000 soldiers
on the line between Forts George and Erie, a
distance of 34 miles only,
As Smyth and his army was seen by the
British coining over and twice returning back,
it was confidently reported and generally believed, that the American army had mutinized.
This very much encouraged the inhabitants,
judging from hence that the soldiers would not
come over at all; knowing also that many had
refused so to do at the time of the battle of
After this, as the winter was coming on, the
British calculated that they should not be invaded again, at least till the ice of the river became strong; the col. of each regiment therefore permitted the principal part of the militia
to go home.
The following remarks respecting the progress of the war, are made from information
received from the public papers and other
sources, and from my knowledge of the province and adjacent parts, in which the operations of the war have been continued to this
date, and from my knowledge of the British
(!fficers, 8Cc. —for on the 29th of Dec. I crossed
the line at Ogdensbargh.
It appears that from the time of the partial.
invasion of gen. Smyth, that there was- nothing
of note done till the defeat of a part of the
north-western army, under the command of
gen. Winchester, on the 22d of January, 1813
near the rapids of the Miami, which is about
6 miles south of Detroit.
W inchester's army was about 1000 strong,
and was attacked by nearly double that number of British and Indians, and as the battle
was obstinately contested, nearly 400 Americans were killed,.the rest were made prisoners,
about 600. All the militia taken were paroled
and sent home, not to fight in the war again.
About the 12th of Feb. capt. Forsyth, commanding a company of U. S. troops (riflemen)
at Ogdensburgh, at the mouth of the Oswegatchie river, on the St., Lawrence, 70 miles below
Sackett's harbour, marched with 200 men up
the river 12 miles, and crossed over to Canada to a little village (BrockvillcA on the banks
of the river, where the British kept a garrison
of about 60 soldiers, which he took with some
military stores, without loss.
. This so exasperated the British, that they
collected a force of about 1200, about the 20th
of the same month, chiefly militia, and crossed
the river from Prescott (two miles) effected a
landing in spite of Forsyth and his riflemen—
drove them 9 miles to Black Lake, with considerable loss on both sides.
They burnt all the buildings of the garrison
at that place, which however was of little value., as they were at least 100 years old, having
been built by the French, and were badly situated. The British also carried off much military stores.
On the 24t1i or 25th of April, corn. Chaum
cey with about 16 sail of vessels, and general
Dearborn with about 2000 soldiers and sailors.
left Sackett's harbour, for York, on the British
side of Lake Ontario, distant 190 miles, and
arrived there on the morning of the 27th at 7
The American army began to land in boats
about 8 o'clock, one mile up the lake from the
fort, and two from the town, or west of the
town and fort. At this place the banks are
high and the woods thick. They were met
by the British force, Indians, a few regulars
and militia under gen. Sheaffe, in number
about 800 strong. In about two hours, in spite
of the British, 13 or 1600 landed under the
command of gen-. Pike; the British then retreated towards the fort, while the Americans pursued them, and when within about 300 yards
of it, a tremendous explosion took place, of
powder and combustibles that had been concealed under ground, and which spread death
and destruction among the American army and
The number of killed by this explosion is
not yet fully ascertained; gen. Dearborn thinks
it is more than 100, among which was gen. Pike.
About 300 was lost in all.
After this explosion the command fell upon
col. Pierce, who soon took possession of the
fort, which the British left, as corn. Chauncey
had got some of his fleet within 600 yards of
the fort, and was firing upon it. The British
moved down to the town, (one mile) after having set fire to some of the public stores, and one
vessel nearly finished. Gen. Sheaffe moved
of with what regular troops were left, towards
Kingston, and left orders with the commanding
officer of the militia (G. S. Mitchell) to make
the best terms he could.
About 2 o'clock in the afternoon the American flag was hoisted, and by 3, all was peace,
and a capitulation was agreed upon: all the
militia were paroled, about 400, and all the
naval and military stores-were given up.
On the first of May the troops were einbarked, but owing to contrary winds, did not leave
York till the 8th, but the same evening they
'reached the 4 mile creek, a little below Fort
Niagara, and unladed some of the stores.
On the next 'Sunday evening two vessels
sailed for the head of the lake to get some Britthey effected without loss, and
ish stor* Twhich
re turned on- Tuesday.
On the 13th, com. Chauncey arrived at Sackett's harbour, where gen. Pike was interred
with the honours of war.
On the 1st, 2d and 3d of May, the British
forces of regulars and militia, under gen. Proctor, and Indians under Tecumseh, in all about
3000 strong, attacked gen. Harrison in Fort
Meigs. On the 4th or 5th, about 9 o'clock,
gen. Clay arrived with 800 K2ntucky volunteers, in boats, up the Miami---landed and
made a heroic push upon the British and Indians, then fighting before Fort Meigs—they
were drOve off and the cannon spiked. However
they neglected to go into the fort, or back to
the boats—were drawn some distance into the
woods by skirmishes with the Indians: they
were surrounded by the British, and 650 fell
into their hands dead or alive, though chiefly
After this the Americans obtained some small
advantages over the British, who on the 9th of
April raised the siege and returned; after which
gen. Harrison left the command of the•fort to
gen. Clay, and went to the south.
On the 27th of May,* gen. Dearborn, Lewis
and others, embarked with com. Chauncey on
board the fleet, at Fort Niagara, to the number
of about 4000 strong. They landed about two
miles from Fort George, up the lake, near the
light house: the vessels anchored within a quarter of a mile of the shore: with boats the army
was landed by th6 . ASsistance of the cannon
from the fleet, in spite of the opposition of about
3000 British forces, with some flying artillery,
under gen. -Vincent. After about half an hour
hard fighting, the British retreated towards
Fort George, which was much injured from the
Bring of two vessels in the mouth of the river,
and some batteries on the east side. The British did not go in, but gave orders to blow it
f Just 30 days after the capture ,ctfNork.,
up; and the cannon of all the batteries on the
line, from Fort George to Erie, were opened
upon the American shore, which continued all
night, and in the morning were bursted, and
all the places were evacuated, after much destruction of barracks and public stores.
The British continued their retreat to the
west of Fort George, on a road which leads
through black swamp, which connects it with
the main road to 40 mile creek, 10 miles from
On the next day, the whole British force
from the Niagara river, met at 40 mile creek,
31 miles from Niagara, where they made a
In a little time the American army entered
Fort George and hoisted the flag.
The next evening, col. Preston crossed over
from Black Rock, and took possession of Fort
Erie; at the same time be.published an address
to the people, inviting them to come and enrol
their names with him and claim the protection
of the United States; at the same time warning
them that if they slid not they should be dealt
With in a rigorous manner. It does not appear
that any of them came. After he had been there
a short time, he destroyed the fort and went to
The number of killed in this action at Fort
• George, must be considerable on both sides,
though it is not yet known.
It appears that in 3 days after, onAhe 31st,
that corn. Chauncey sailed with- his fleet, for
Sackett's harbour with gen. Lewis, and that
gen. Boyd took the command undergen.,Dearborn.
On the 1st of June, gen. Winder with '2000
troops left Fort George in pursuit of the British, who had made a stand at the 40 mile creek.
On the 4th, gen. Chandler, with 2000 more,
marched to join gen. Winder. On the approach
of Winder the British retreated 18 miles, to
the head of Burlington Bay, where they threw
up intrenchments. Part of the AmeriCan army
proceeded 10 miles farther, to the 50 mile, creek,
and encamped on Saturday' night, the 45th. On
Sunday morning before light it was very dark.
About 500 regulars under gen.Vincent, and some
Indians under the chief Norton, unperceived
broke, into the American camp, took possession
of 7 pieces of cannon, which they turned against
their foes—the confusion was great generals
Winder and Chandler were :taken prisoners,
and many more—five pieces of cannon were
taken. The Americans fought well—the British retired, leaving 150 behind them: however
they were not pursued.
The same day gen. Dearborn sent orders for
the American army to return to Fort George,
as he had seen several British vessels sail for
the bead of the lake, which lie supposed 'intended to land reinforcements, which was done.
At the same time sir James Yeo appeared with
his fleet off the 40 mile creek, and demanded
the surrender of the American army, stating
that it must of necessity fall into the hands of
The American army then returned to Fort
George, having lost a considerable number, being taken prisoners by the Indians and militia,
who hung on the skirts of the army, nearly
throughout their march.
On the next (lay all the British army returned to the 40 mile creek. At the same.,time the
British took 12 boats on their return to Fort
George, with the baggage of the officers.*
On the 29th of May, (two days after gen.
Dearborn landed at Niagara) 6 British vessels
and 30 boats appeared before Sackett's harbour, from which nearly 1200 men effected a
landing a little above the harbour. They drove
the Americans back nearly a mile, with considerable loss: however, they were obliged to retreat to their vessels and leave many behind.
As the victory was doubtful for some time,
the Americans set fire to all the military stores
in that place, among which was some taken at
The British were coMmanded by general
Sheaffe, and the fleet by Yeo: the Americans
by gen. Brown, of the militia; col. Mills and
col. Backus were killed early in the action.
* About this time the British captured two schooners
on Lake Champlain.
On the 12th of June, 15 days after Dearborn
had landed at Niagara in Canada, the British
fleet of 7 sail of large and some small vessels,
captured 2 schooners and some boats near the
18 mile creek, 12 miles east of Niagara, on the
United States shore of the lake. They were
laden with hospital stores for the army.
On the 15th, some soldiers landed from the
fleet, at the mouth of the Genessee river, and
took off from the village of Charlotteville, 500
barrels of flour and pork, and a large boat loaded with 1200 bushels of corn, destined for the
army at Niagara.
On the 18th, they landed at Sothis, burnt
some buildings, and carried off 300 barrels of
About the 23d of June, capt. Chauncey, of
one of the American vessels captured one of
the British vessels (the Lady Murray, laden
with military stores.)
On the 24th of June, gen. Dearborn sent out
570 men, under col. Boerstler, in pursuit of
some British near the beaver dam, 16 miles
from Fort George: they were surrounded by a
number of British and Indians, and all killed
On the 27th of June, gen. De Rottenburgh
arrived in Upper Canada, as governor of the
On the 10th of July, 250 British crossed over
the Niagara , river, below Squaw Island, and
marched up to Black Rock; the militia in that
place (only a few) retreated, and the British
burnt the barracks and blockhouse, took some
salt, flour and pork, 3 field pieces, and one
twelve pounder. In a little time the militia reinforced—come upon the British—an engagement took place for 15 minutes, when the British retreated over the river with some loss.
On the 17th of July, 200 British attacked
the American picket guards: detachments were
sent_ out, and drove them back with loss.
About this time gen. Dearborn received orders
to resign the command of the army, and gen.
Wilkinson took it.
The/21.st of July, Fort Meigs was besieged
by the British and ftidlans, 2000 strong. How' ever,- it appeared that they made_ a heroic resistance under maj. Croghan, and that they retired a little; and that gen. Harrison was on
his way to 'the fort With reinforcements.
On the 23d of July, six British vessels came
near to Erie and made some little attempts to
injure the American fleet under com. Perry,
which is somewhat less than that of the British.
On the 29th of July, coin. Chauncey sailed
from Fort George, with his fleet, to the head
of Lake Ontario (40 miles) where he landed
some troops, with an intention of attacking
some of the British and Indians stationed on
high ground, distant 7 miles, on the south of
Burlington Bay; however, it was not done.
The fleet remained there one day, and then
sailed down and across to York (60 miles.)
The British stationed there, retired before the
fleet come to anchor; they remained there two
days, and when they left it, took off 6 or 700
barrels of flour, some boats and other things—
the barracks and public store houses were
burnt. A number of the inhabitants come off
with the fleet.
On the 2d of August, 1200 British landed
from Lake Champlain at Plattsburgh; what
little force was there retreated with safety: they
burnt all the public buildings in the place:
there was no stores there.
About the 7th, the British fleet came near
Fort-GreorA-e and the American flea s which
pursued them, but did not come up with them.*
Both of the fleets were manmuvering in sight of
each other for 3 days, at length the British succeeded in cutting off two of the American
schooners, viz. the Julia of 3 guns, and the
Growler of 5. It appears that when the captain of the Julia (Trent) saw it was impossible
to escape, he hove his little vessel along side
of the British commander's vessel (the Wolfe)
and the Royal George, and fired 30 rounds.
The Growler was captured.
It also appears, that on the 8th of August,
two other schooners were upset in a gale, viz.
the Scourge of 8 guns, and the Hamilton; 16
persons were saved out of 90. Two others
Bate been condemned as unfit for service, vit.
* The force of tke two fleets was about equal,
the Fair American and the Pert. These disasters happened near the head of the lake.
On the 17th of August, a company of militia
volunteers, and Indians from round about Buffalo, in the state of New-York, with gen.
Porter arrived at Fort George, in number
These under the command of maj. Chapin,
and 200 regulars under maj. Cummings of the
19th regiment of infantry, made an attempt to
cut off one of the British pickets.
Although they did not effect their wish, yet
they routed the enemy in a skirmish.
The American Indians captured 12 of the
British Indians, and 4 of the whites, a considerable number was killed also; we have no
account what number of the Americans were
killed on this occasion, but no doubt there was
It appears that for a short time previous to the
7th of September, the British fleet had been at
anchor in the mouth of the 4 mile creek, three
miles west of Fort George, where some batteries were formed, and that com. Chauncey with
his fleet, had also been at anchor near Fort
George for some time.
On Wednesday, the 7th, at sun rise the
British fleet bore down and stood at the mouth
of the Niagara river, when it was discovered.
Com. Chauncey made sail in chase, which
was continued for 3 days nearly all around the.
lake: at length on the 11th,* near the. Genessee river, the gen. Pike got within cannon
reach of the British flek, and had a running
fight for three or four hotirs. The gen. Pike
was but little injured. Not a man was hurt.
On the morning of the 12th, the British fleet
put in Amherst Bay, 12 mites west of Kingston (mysterious) where con. Chauncey blockaded it, het-Wishing to go to;supposing the by
to be dangerous.'
At sun rise, on the 10th of September, as
the American fleet on Lake Erie of 9 vessels
and 54 guns, under the cemmand of coin. Perry, was at anchor at the south side of the lake
near the head, at a place called Put-id-bay: the
British fleet of 6 vessels and 63 guns appeared
Coln. Perry immediately weighed anchor
and went out to meet his enemy. About 10
o'clock, Perry's fleet was formed in line of battle, and at 15 minutes before 12, the British
commenced firing, and 5 minutes after 12, the
action began on the part of Perry.
The firing of the British was veryidestructive, on account of their long guns, and was
chiefly directed at the brig Lawrence (the
commodore's vessel)t who seeing the danger
of his vessel, and being determined if possible'
* One day after Perry's victory.
t The destruction on board this vessel was great indeed, 22 being killed and 61 wounded.
to conquer, made sail, and ordered the other
vessels. to follow, for the purpose of closing
with,the British. But in a little time she was
so injured in the rigging, that she was unma' nageable: yet in this 'Situation she -sustained
the fire of the British fleet for two honrs within
a few, }Mildred yards.
_LAX:length every gun was rendered useless,
and the greater part of her crew either killed
At half past 2, capt. tliot of the brig Niagara brought his vessel in close action with
the British. At this awful crisis, corn. Perry
left his vessel and passed to the Niagara.*
Soon after coin. Perry left the Lawrence',
her flag come down, but the British was not
able to take possession of her, and it was hoisted again.
At 443 minutes past 2, the signal was given
for close action, and the Niagara with the
commodore, bore up in order to break the line
of British vessels, which was soon done. She
passed ahead of their two ships and a brig giving them a raking fire from the starboard, and
and also to a large schooner and sloop on the
larboard side, being within 20 yards distance.
At the same •time, the other seven kept up a
well directed and tremendous fire.
* Perhaps a more heroic action was never achieved
than that of Perry's passing in an open boat from one
vessel to another, amidst the flying shafts of death and
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