Sunday, January 3, 2010

Talbot Regime (book)

Full text of "The Talbot régime, or, The first half century of the Talbot settlement"












:i n

Entered according to Act of Parliament of Canada, in the year Nineteen Hundred and Fo
by CHARLES OAKES ERMATINGER, in the Office of the Minister of Agriculture.


A SUGGESTION was made some years ago that I should
publish a new edition of the book entitled "The Life of
Colonel Talbot," written and published by my father in 1859, and
now long since out of print. Facts and documents since come
to light, the different aspect in which many occurrences and
characters are regarded after the lapse of almost half a
century, with other reasons, combined to render such a course,
in my view, both impossible and inadvisable. I have
nevertheless quoted from, and made free use of much of
the material in, my father's book, including a good part of
what is contained in my chapter of Anecdotes. I aimed rather
at a history of the Settlement than a biography of the man
alone, and at first contemplated covering the events of the entire
century from 1803 to 1903 in one volume. Before I had
completed one-half of my task I saw that to accomplish this
satisfactorily would be impracticable. Having devoted this
volume to the first half century of the Settlement, I have still
had to cultivate the art of condensation to an extent which may
not be apparent to most readers. In consequence the names of
many worthy settlers worthier probably than many whose names
appear will be missed from these pages. This would, however,
be, in any case, inevitable, especially as to those whose quiet,
unostentatious though industrious and useful lives have not
brought them into prominence. A valued correspondent
expressed the hope that fac similes of the original township
maps, with Colonel Talbot's entries upon them, might be included
in this volume. I find this impracticable, but hope they may
yet appear in the Domesday Book announced to be in course of
compilation by the Provincial Archivist or in other permanent


I have quoted freely from books written by participants in
the scenes depicted and not readily accessible to casual
readers, and, in preference to attempting" to paraphrase what
has been better said than I could hope to say it, have given
the language of the writers to an extent which may give this
volume the appearance rather of a compilation than a history
though histories are of necessity but compilations to a greater or
less extent. Contemporary correspondence I have quoted or
given entire, wherever I have thought it would lend vividness to
the text while much more is contained in the appendices. While
much that is recorded may seem local or trivial, I have thought
it all essential to a faithful picture of the scenes and period
dealt with, especially in what must be regarded as largely a book
of local annals.

I have deemed it neither necessary nor fitting to refer in the
text to certain reports given wide currency in Canada regarding
the parentage of Colonel Talbot, such as that in the Scottish
Canadian a year or two since, wherein it was suggested that he
was of royal blood a son of George III. through a morganatic
marriage, and presumably adopted into the Talbot family. While
most improbable on their face, I have found no evidence to
support such tales and have therefore passed them over. When
mentioned to the present Lord Talbot de Malahide, he said there
was not a word of truth in them and he considered them unworthy
of notice.

To mention all those to whom I am indebted for information
and kind assistance would be almost impossible, but special
acknowledgments are due to Judge Macbeth of London, Ontario,
and Mr. James H. Coyne of St. Thomas for giving me access to
the Talbot papers and correspondence and to the latter for use of
his valuable library of Canadian books as well, to Mr. E. H.
Tiffany of Alexandria for copies of and extracts from the Colonial
Advocate and to Lord Talbot de Malahide for permitting the use
of his family crest to adorn the title page and cover, as well as
for information afforded me.

Since the foregoing lines were penned I have, through the
kindness of Dr. A. V. Becher of London, Ontario, been afforded


the opportunity to peruse and make extracts from a number of
letters received by his grandfather, the late H. C. R. Becher,
Q.C., from Colonel Talbot and Mr. George Macbeth. These
extracts will be found in Appendix G. The omitted portions
relate chiefly to details of business. This correspondence, which
I have added to the already lengthy appendices, will be of special
interest to those who may wish to know more of the Colonel's
last two journeys to England the days of ill-health and haunting,
baseless fears of impending 1 poverty In his old age, of self-imposed
exile from his "dear country, "as he termed Canada of his increas-
ing fondness for his companion in exile, of their life in London, their
wanderings in England and France and the people they met, of
his unhappy difference with his nephew, the late Lord Airey,
which was never healed. The handwriting and contents of the
Colonel's letters exhibit plainly his failing powers. The well-
written, lively letters of Mr. Macbeth fill in the sad picture, in
which touches of humour are nevertheless not wanting.

Letters and documents in the Appendices are given as nearly as
possible verbatim et literatim.

One noticeable error has crept into the book. Through no
fault of the printers the name of Joseph Pickering has been
given as James Pickering.

If the author's share in the production of this volume a
product typographically and otherwise of the Talbot Settlement
meets with approval equal to that which I feel sure its mechanical
excellence will be found to deserve, I, though deeply sensible of
my imperfections as an author, shall be rewarded for my labour.

C. O. E.

November zist, 1904.


CHAPTER XIX. For James, read Joseph Pickering.
On p. 176 For Mayor Nevills, read Major Nevills.
On p. 292 For Mary Fraser, read Jane Fraser.































FARMING IN 1825-6 125




ROBINSON 1830-1834. THE CHOLERA. . . . 150











ST. THOMAS IN THE 40*5 231




THE 40*8. 253

ROAD 269





REST 3 u



1812. See Schedule on page 321


MUSTER ROLLS, ETC. See Schedule on . . " 327

ETC. See Schedule of Documents on . . " 340

Schedule on " 346


See Schedule on " 353

Schedule on " 356

INSPECTORS, ETC. See Schedule on . . " 364



























HON. G. J. GOODHUE " 242














A CENTURY AND A HALF of almost unbroken solitude, followed by
a century of busy settlement such is a brief epitome of the
history of the last two hundred and fifty years, of the favoured
region bordering- Lake Erie on the north.

A territory the most southerly in all Canada, in the latitude of
southern France and northern Italy ; a soil producing wheat,
maize and tobacco among its staple crops, with peaches, grapes
and all the hardier fruits in exuberant abundance ; a land flowing
almost literally with oil, wine and honey blessed with a climate
varying from melting summer heat to winter's keen frost and
snow in alternating seasons, yet healthful and invigorating such
a region may without exaggeration be termed a highly favoured

The possibilities of the land as an agricultural country were not
put to the test, however, until the white man's coming, save
where patches of maize, or Indian corn, pumpkins, beans or
tobacco were sometimes grown in the cleared spaces around their
villages by the aboriginies, who were known as the Neutral
Nation, because they maintained neutrality between the two great
warring peoples to the north and east of them the Hurons and
their insatiable foes the Iroquois, the former the friends of the
French, the latter of the English. Yet the Neutrals were them-


selves a fierce and cruel people, who confined their warlike
operations to the western regions where dwelt their own special
enemies, whom they treated with barbarous cruelty whenever the
fortunes of war brought them within their power. Meantime
they cultivated friendly relations with their neighbours to the
north-east and east, keeping an ''open door" for trade and
barter with both and dwelling in numerous villages or fortified
camps whose palisaded earthworks afforded protection to thei-
families alike from prowling bands of hostile nations and from t
wild beasts of the forest. Traces of some of these villages at .
still decipherable in various places, the best preserved being
probably that situate in the township of Southwold, within some
three miles of Port Talbot. Trees and tree trunks within and
upon its earthworks, whose growth must have been subsequent
to the day when it was inhabited, speak of that day as more than
two centuries ago, and corroborate the accounts of French
missionaries, who visited the Neutrals in the seventeenth century
and place the date of their expulsion, or rather extermination as a
nation, at some time between the middle and close of that century.

Champlain had information of the Neutrals and their country in
1616. The Recollet father, De Laroche-Daillon, visited and
wintered with them in 1626-7, as did the Jesuit missionaries
Brebeuf and Chaumonot in 1639-40 and in 1640-41. They were
described as numerous and fierce in war, living in villages and
cultivating fields of maize, pumpkins and tobacco. Naked,
superstitious, easily influenced by other nations, to whom their
trade was tributory, to regard the Gospel messengers as evil
wizards and turn them from their villages, they fell at last before
the conquering Iroquois, the remnant escaping to the west, and
their land became the Conquerors' hunting ground.

A noble hunting ground it was two hundred and fifty miles
from east to west a wavy, green sea of forest, beside the
billowy azure sea of fresh water. Its surface rose and fell in
gentle undulations, unbroken, save where a gleam of water or a
valley marked the winding of a river or smaller stream to its exit
into the lake, or a forest fire or the site of some deserted village
of the Neutrals made an oasi in the leafy expanse. Beech and


maple, oak, ash and stately elm, walnut and butternut, chestnut
and hickory, with many other mighty jostling- brethren of the
forest were decked in the autumn with the hues of the rainbow,
while vast patches of pine, spruce, tamarac and hemlock preserved
their more sombre colouring throughout the year. Vast herds of
deer and flocks of wild turkey roamed the forest, bears enjoyed
the small fruits and berries which abounded, the industrious
v >eaver felled trees and built dams where required for their pur-
ges. Myriads of pigeons darkened, at times, the sky, and duck
.^numerable covered the waters of the bays, rivers and ponds,
whose depths teemed with all kinds of fresh water fish.

During the latter half of the seventeenth century a number of
French travellers, explorers and missionaries, skirted the lake
front of the country, but seldom traversed the interior. Joliet in
1669 passing down from the upper lakes landed at or near Kettle
Creek and crossed overland to Burlington Bay, meeting en route
La Salle, who returned with him to the East, and the Sulpician
priests, Dollier de Casson and Galinee, who descended the Grand
River to Lake Erie and wintered at the site of Port Dover, where
on Passion Sunday, 1670, they erected a cross, affixing to its foot
the arms of the King of France, as a formal act of possession.
Thence they continued their journey westward along the shores of
the lake and up the Detroit River. La Salle was the first to
navigate Lake Erie in a ship. Having in 1679 built his vessel,
the Griffon, on Cayuga Creek, he, accompanied by Friar Hennepin,
launched and sailed her up the lake and on to Lake Michigan.
She was lost on the return voyage, laden with furs. Tonty,
Du L'hut, and Cadillac were among the other early explorers of
this shore.

To say that the country bordering Lake Erie pleased these early
travellers is but faintly to express their admiration, judging from
the rhapsodies in which some of them indulged. To Galinee it
was " the terrestrial paradise of Canada," and Charlevoix, who
passed up the lake in 1721, wrote : "In every place where I
landed I was enchanted with the beauty and variety of landscape,
bounded by the finest forest in the world ; besides this, waterfowl
swarmed everywhere."


For a century and a half the country slumbered. Of its former
proprietors many were massacred, many carried off as captives by
the Iroquois, while those who escaped, pursued by famine, were
scattered abroad. All were gone. The country reposed in
desolation. Occasional hunting- parties of Senecas or other
Iroquois, from their villages east of the Grand River, penetrated
the forest to the west in pursuit of game. A transient trader now
and then passed along the shore or followed the forest paths and
Indian trails between the French posts now established at Niagara
and Detroit. But for the most part solitude and silence reigned,
broken only by the twittering of birds by day, the howling of
wolves and the weird hoot of the owl by night until the wood-
man's axe rang out along the Niagara and the Long Point
settlements, where the U. E. loyalists, and the Detroit River,
where Franco-British subjects were, in the latter part of the
eighteenth century, hewing out new homes then again in the
intervening wilds to the west of Long Point, at the dawn of the
new century, when Talbot and his settlers began their battle with
the forest.



CASTLE MALAHIDE, the ancient seat of the Talbots de Malahide,
as well as the sleepy village of the same name, which signifies
" on the brow of the sea," lie on the sea coast nine miles north of
Dublin and form a charming resort whose sandy downs and
historical features attract alike the golfer and the antiquarian.

The Talbots de Malahide were one of the nine great houses
which survived the wars of the Roses and are said to now present
the only instance in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Ireland, if not the whole of Europe, of a family who have retained
for some seven hundred years their ancestral estate in the direct
male lineage and name of him on whom the estate was originally
conferred by King Henry II. The family crest appears on the
title page of this volume.

Richard Talbot, the founder of the house, who crossed the
Irish Channel in 1172 in the suite of Henry II., a son of Lord
Talbot of Eccleswell, is mentioned in Domesday Book, and
obtained for his services to the cause of Plantagenet the lordship
of Malahide as a fief of the crown the only estate so held in
Ireland and by Edward IV. the admiralship of the adjacent seas
was conferred upon his successor both held by the family to the
present day. A copy of the patent to Thomas Talbot from King
Edward IV. was found among the late Colonel Thomas Talbot's
papers, in Canada. It confers many privileges upon the "faithful
and well beloved Thomas," such as the exclusive right to execute
all writs, make arrests, levy customs duties, etc., at "Mullaghide"
and adjacent territory, besides the command of the waters, and
provides a long tariff ot customs. It bears date :8th March, 1475.

The house of Shrewsbury in England is a collateral branch of


the same family, and the earls of Shrewsbury are, in case of failure
of heirs to the Talbot estates, the heirs in remainder.

Malahide Castle, built on an eminence commanding 1 a .view of
the bay, is a stately building, whose vine-clad walls and towers
present a most picturesque effect, while its hall of purest Norman
architecture, and oak room, lined with antique carving" of
Scriptural subjects, are justly celebrated, and its numerous art
treasures, both old and precious. Many of these works of art
came to the Talbot family from its alliance with the Wogans of
Rathcoffey, who are descended from Sir John Wogan, chief
governor of Ireland in 1295 and 1310.

The nobly wooded grounds contain ancient oaks, chestnuts and
sycamores, whose lives extend back to Tudor days. Beneath two
of the latter and close to the castle are the ruins of the ancient
chapel and burying ground, within which, among other interesting
monuments, is the sixteenth century tomb of Maud Talbot, of
whom was sung :

The joy bells are pealing in gay Malahide,

The fresh wind is sighing along the sea side ;

The maids are assembling with garlands of flowers

And the harpstrings are trembling in all the glad bowers.

Before the high altar young Maud stands array'd,
With accents that falter her promise is made
From father and mother forever to part,
For him and no other to treasure her heart.

But the wedding feast being interrupted by tidings of the
approach of foemen, the bridegroom has perforce to leave his
bride and lead the wedding guests to battle. Toward evening",
when news of victory comes, Maud joyously sets forth to welcome
her valiant bridegroom, whose corpse borne home on a shield she,
alas, meets. Broken hearted, she

Sinks on the meadow, in one morning tide
A wife and a widow, a maid and a bride.

The present Lord Talbot de Malahide is Richard Wogan, the


fifth baron, his son, the Hon. James Boswell, being" heir to the
title and estates. Auchinlock, in Ayrshire, is another seat of the
present baron.

Here at Malahide, on igth July, 1771, was born Thomas
Talbot, one of a family of seven sons and five daughters born to
Richard Talbot and Margaret, daughter of James O'Reilly,
Esquire, of Ballinlough, County Westmeath, of the Milesian
princely house of Breffney. This lady was created Baroness
Talbot of Malahide in 1831.

Of the six brothers of Thomas Talbot, two were peers in
succession, one, Sir John Talbot, G.C.B., an admiral in the Royal
Navy, one a barrister, while another, Neil Talbot, was the gallant
Lt.-Colonel of the i4th Light Dragoons, who was killed at Ciudad
Rodrigo in 1810. Richard Talbot, the father, died in 1788,
leaving his widow, the mother of this large family of twelve sons
and daughters, surviving.

That their future welfare was looked after as well as was
possible in a family so numerous, the record of Burke's peerage
indicates the younger sons provided with an education and
commissions in army and navy, and a profession ; the youngest,
William who seems to have been the least ambitious and
possibly the least deserving the only apparent exception ; all the
daughters but one, apparently well married, the two younger
twice over. Barbara, the eldest, became the wife of Sir William
Young, baronet and member of Parliament, and governor of
Tobago. The second daughter became a countess of the Austrian
Empire, while the third married Lt-.General Sir George Airey,
several of whose family of nine children subsequently visited their
uncle, Colonel Talbot, in Canada. The fourth daughter, Eliza,
had for a second husband Ellis Cunliffe Lister Kaye, whose family
name is now a familiar one in western Canada.

The widowed mother, Margaret Talbot, enjoyed only for some
three years the honours of her peerage, for while in May, 1831,
she was created Baroness Talbot, in September, 1834, she died.

Such was the birthplace and family from which sprang the
Honourable Thomas Talbot, the founder of the Talbot Settlement,
in the then remote wilderness of Canada. Born, as already stated


on i gth July, 1771, he is said to have received a commission in the
army, at the early age of eleven years, followed almost at once by
his retirement on half pay. This mark of favour by no means
uncommon in those days* would seem to have been intended to
enable him to obtain a liberal education. He was educated at the
Manchester Public Free School. His school days were not
protracted, yet his correspondence shows that he profited by his

In 1787 and 1788, while still little more than a lad, he was an
aide-de-camp to his relative, the Marquis of Buckingham, then
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. His brother aide was Arthur
Wellesley, who afterwards became the renowned Iron Duke of
Wellington. Maxwell, in his life of Wellington, says he was
appointed aide to Lord Westmoreland in 1792, Gleig says to
Camden, which would be much later. Colonel Talbot in his life-
time spoke of Wellesley and himself as aides to Buckingham
between 1787 and 1790. It is probable that Wellesley acted in
advance of Westmoreland, who succeeded Buckingham in 1790,
the year in which Talbot stated he joined the 24th regiment at

The Court at Dublin was at this time one of lavish splendour.
Wellesley's purse scarcely allowed of his keeping pace with his
surroundings and, though he became a member of the Irish
Parliament, fortune would seem to have presented at this time a
more smiling face to the debonair "Tom Talbot" than to the
serious young officer, two years his senior, who lodged with a
boot-maker and whose finances were so straightened as to
necessitate his accepting a loan from his humble landlord, who it
is scarcely necessary to say was subsequently remembered and
recompensed by a good appointment.

The subsequent widely divergent careers of these two remark-
able men have been the subjects of frequent comparison and

*Sir Charles Napier, born in 1782, in 1794 obtained a commission in the
4th regiment, at 12 years of age. Col. Talbot is stated to have received his
first commission as ensign of the 66th reg-iment of Foot on 24th May, 1783,
and a lieutenancy on 27th September of the same year, followed by his
retirement on half pay from 1784 to 1787.


comment. How Wellesley mounted rung- after rung of the ladder
of fame until as the renowned Iron Duke he stood, a world's
hero, at the top, is universally known. His young colleague at
the Vice-Regal Court, on the other hand, plunged into the then
wilds of Canada, whence he seldom emerged. Born two years
later than the Duke, Colonel Talbot survived him scarcely five
months. It is said that as octogenarians they met and conversed
at Apsley House, calling one another still by their familiar names
"Arthur" and "Tom." Over what divergent vistas of inter-
vening years of war and statecraft, of sanguinary battlefields and
splendour of Courts, on the one hand on the other, of lonely
sombre solitude, of battles with the giants of the forest and its
wild denizens, of lake and river travel, of ice and snowstorms and
blazing log fires until, the long intervals spanned, their minds
focussed and tongues wagged over happy youthful days in
Dublin in " dear dirty Dublin " as it was once called.

When Wellesley became a member of the Irish Parliament in
1790, Talbot joined the 24th regiment at Quebec. In 1791
Wellesley obtained his captaincy two years ahead both in age and
rank of Talbot, who obtained his company on 2ist November,
1793, in the 85th foot, his Majority, 6th March, 1794, and in
January, 1796, his Lt. -Colonelcy of the 5th regiment of foot.*

*Lord Roberts, in his "Rise of Wellington," says of Arthur Wellesley :
" Being- looked upon as the dunce of the family and described by his mother
as food for powder and nothing more, it was determined according to the
custom in those days to provide him with a livelihood in the army, and at the
age of 17 he obtained an ensigncy in the 4ist foot. His family influence being
powerful, he was rapidly promoted, being a lieutenant after nine months'
service, a captain after three and a-half years' service as lieutenant, a major
after less than two years' service as captain, a lieutenant-colonel after five
months' service as major, and a colonel at the age of 27, after less than three
years' service as lieut. -colonel.



EARLY on the morning- of the nth November, 1791, the good ship
Triton arrived at Quebec, having on board Colonel John Graves
Simcoe, the recently appointed first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper
Canada. This province had been set apart from the former
enormous Province of Quebec by Great Britain and it became
necessary to establish a separate government in this hitherto wild
and sparsely inhabited region to the west, to which, however,
increasing numbers of settlers of British origin were migrating,
while many more were awaiting the opening up of the country for
further settlement large numbers of United Empire loyalists in
particular and a province distinctively British as compared with
the French Province of Quebec was now in embryo.

Prince Edward, since better known as the Duke of Kent and
father of Queen Victoria, was now at Quebec, and to him Simcoe
was the bearer of a letter from his father, the King. Lieutenant
Talbot was, as already stated, also there with his regiment, the
24th, and, as an officer of the garrison, naturally saw a good deal
of his Royal fellow-soldier as well as the new Lieutenant-Governor
of the Upper Province, with whom he was destined to spend
several years at the formative period of his life, for unlike most of
his brother officers, the young Irish lieutenant speedily turned his
attention toward administrative work in the west, in a sphere for
which his court life at Dublin had to some extent fitted him.

Simcoe passed the winter at Quebec informing himself as to his
new duties, preparing plans for military defence, the fur trade,
education and other subjects, which he submitted to the home
authorities and in April was impatiently awaiting despatches to
enable him to proceed to Upper Canada. Even at this time he


had already recommended that the capital of the new province be
upon La Tranche, subsequently known as the Thames, and the
chief places for settlement there and at Toronto and the vicinity
of Long- Point. The early arrival of the Queen's Rang-ers under
Captain (afterwards major-general) Aeneas Shaw by a long 1 ' snow-
shoe march from New Brunswick, the regiment formerly com-
manded by Simcoe in the American revolutionary war reorganized,
enabled him to exercise military as well as civil authority. He
desired the local rank of major-general to give him necessary
military status, and also to have the water force of the upper
lakes, and the appointment of its officers made, under his
authority. He favoured the appointment of lieutenants of counties
some such appointments were subsequently actually made as
in England, the gradual formation of an aristocracy, large grants
of land to retired officers in localities where their presence and
influence would insure the people's loyalty and security from
foreign influence or attack, and the promotion of immigration of
those who, still resident in the United States, were dissatisfied with
their status there.

In short, Simcoe was a man of action, of a robust loyalty to the
crown and government of England, suspicious and watchful of
the motives and actions of the American authorities, with conser-
vative and even aristocratic ideas with regard to the policy to be
adopted in the new province, desirous of having an honest and
pure, as well as efficient, administration of affairs and of being
entrusted with sufficient authority, men and means to carry his
views into effect and especially to render this province secure to
the British crown. It may be added that his wife was an
accomplished partner, whose skill as an artist has preserved to us
a number of scenes of the early days of the province.

Under the influence and into the household of this couple came
Lieutenant Talbot, at the impressionable age of 20 or 21, in the
capacity ot a private and confidential secretary and it may well
be surmised that to his sojourn, travels and intercourse with
Governor Simcoe, during the following few years, were due in
some measure, not only his taste for a life in the wilds, but the
motives which actuated him in seeking to found a settlement and


build up an estate, as well as some of his plans for procuring and
selecting settlers and instilling- in their minds loyalty to the crown
as a cardinal principle while retaining in his own hands power
sufficient to maintain his influence.

After the governor and his council had been sworn in at
Cataraqui, or Kingston, whither he had sent on the first division
of the Queen's Rangers, he purposed hutting the regiment at
the new landing (Queenston) on the Niagara, occupying a post
near Long Point and another at Toronto, and settling himself on
the river La Tranche (Thames). He, however, established his
capital for the time being at Niagara, or Newark as it was then
named ; Navy Hall, a wooden building near the landing, and a
short distance above the mouth of the river, being his head-
quarters. Here on iyth September, 1792, the first Provincial
Parliament for Upper Canada was opened with all the customary

Navy Hall, though an unpretentious place, soon became some-
thing of a social centre, at which even balls were not unknown.
At one given during the visit of the American commissioners who
came in connection with the Indian negotiations then in progress,
some twenty well-dressed handsome ladies and about thrice that
number of gentlemen, with the brilliant uniforms of the military
officers, formed, for those days, quite a brilliant scene. At one or
more of these festive gatherings, the daughters of Sir William
Johnson, the superintendent of Indian affairs and officer com-
manding the British force when the French lost Fort Niagara,
were present. One of these handsome and accomplished young
ladies, nieces of Joseph Brant (Theyendanegea), was the only lady
with whom Talbot was ever reported to have been in love in
Canada, and that report rests upon a few words jestingly spoken
by himself in after years.* No doubt the handsome young Irish

*John Brown, who accompanied Colonel Talbot on one of his subsequent
voyages to Canada, is authority for the statement that the Colonel had in
early life been a suitor for the hand of Lady Ellesmere, before her marriage
to the Earl of Ellesmere, at whose seat the Colonel was a guest while in
England, and Mr. Brown an employee.

L. C. Kearney, in his brochure on Col. Talbot's life, says that when he left
Simcoe's staff he went to England " to commit matrimony," but the lady in
the case did not reciprocate his affection, so he returned alone.


officer was a gay figure in these scenes, and perhaps enjoyed
many a dance with the young lady in question, though, as the
story goes, he complained that she did not favour his suit, adding
in rough jest, "those who would have me, the devil himself
wouldn't have them ! "

Even before he had entered the upper province, as has already
been stated, Simcoe had planned to have his capital on the
Thames, which he expected shortly to visit, with military posts
and settlements at Toronto and Long Point ; and, anticipating a
little, it may here be observed that he adhered to this idea to the
last, time after time recommending it in despatches with great
tenacity of purpose and, even so late as 1796, almost at the close
of his career in Canada, in a despatch to Lord Portland, he
suggested that in the event of the seat of government being
transferred to the Thames, "the proper place," the buildings and
grounds at York (Toronto), where he was placing the seat of
government " for the present," could be sold to lessen or liquidate
the debt for their construction.

Lord Dorchester, the Governor-General and commander in
chief, and Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe could seldom see eye to
eye. Simcoe wished the capital at the site of London, Dorchester
at Kingston. Dorchester approved of the establishment of a post
and town opposite Bois Blanc Island at the mouth of the Detroit
River. Simcoe considered it indefensible. The Lieutenant-
Governor desired a military force strong enough to occupy and
attract settlers to the posts which he designed establishing at
London, Turkey Point and Toronto, and to have naval stations
at Turkey Point and Penetanguishene and a shipyard at Chatham,
and to employ as in fact he did to some extent, with great
advantage the Queen's Rangers in the erection of buildings and
the building of roads to make these various points accessible.
Dorchester condemned the policy of incurring expense or leaving
troops in Upper Canada to increase the growth and prosperity of
the colony, as not only impolitic but wrong in principle. Simcoe
regarded the administration of the Indian department under
Dorchester as injudicious and considered that the latter's
erroneous principles and limited ideas tended to retard the


prosperity of Upper Canada, which he (Simcoe) regarded as the
most valuable of His Majesty's foreign possessions. Simcoe him-
self believed in making it a powerful addition to the British
Empire by nursing up a great people. His own ideas were not of
a limited kind. He was farsighted and zealous for the maintenance
and extension of British influence and trade, even to the verge of
appearing to magnify his own office. He was in communication
with Mackenzie and other explorers from Slave Lake to the
Pacific Ocean. He hoped for trade and even closer relations with
Vermont and Kentucky and for the retention by Spain of
Louisiana and the Illinois. Dorchester was for reducing the
military force in Upper Canada.

In fact these two officers, who each ascribed to the other
" erroneous principles " as to colonization, whose terms of office
practically terminated together, seem to have been a constant
counterpoise and check on each other's plans, with one notable
exception. This was the erection of a fort upon the Miami in the
Indian country to the west of the United States by Simcoe, under
the direction and authority of Dorchester, for the ostensible
purpose of protecting British traders and keeping a check upon
the Indians, pending the settlement of the boundary dispute,
which was assuming the appearance of a protracted war between
the Americans and the western Indians. This post and those to
be abandoned by Great Britain under the treaty of peace with the
United States were still held by the British for the purposes
already mentioned. The erection and occupation of the new post
was denounced by Mr. Randolph as the " invasion of General
Simcoe," and, though the latter's general policy and ideas lend
some colour to the view, prevalent in the United States at the
time, that he had ulterior designs, it is certain that Simcoe
earnestly desired to maintain a permanent peace with the United
States and he consoled himself, when the storm had blown over,
with the reflection that his act in securing the fort of the Miamis
" had, in all probability, averted war."

In these various enterprises of Governor Simcoe young Talbot
played a part, especially with regard to Indian affairs. He saw
the opening of the first session of the first provincial legislature.


That over, he had time no doubt for reading- and reflection, and
we can imagine him by the Governor's fireside at Newark passing
many a pleasant half hour during that Christmastide of 1792,
perusing with delight Charlevoix's account of his travels through
these regions, his imagination led captive by the narrative, which
Simcoe himself sometimes quoted as an authority.



THE Christmas holidays over, the Governor made preparations to
explore the country to the west and visit Detroit, which was still
in the hands of the British, as well as the site of his proposed
capital on the Thames, and on Monday, February 4th, 1793, his
party left Navy Hall in sleighs. This party consisted, in addition
to Governor Simcoe, of the following" : Major Littlehales
afterwards Lt.-Col. Sir E. B. Littlehales, secretary of war for
Ireland the Governor's official secretary and brigade-major,
whose diary supplies details of the trip ; Captain Fitzgerald ;
Lieutenant D. W. Smith, the first surveyor-general of the
Province, afterwards created a baronet, and Lieutenants Talbot,
Gray (afterwards solicitor-general of the Province, who in 1804
perished in Lake Ontario in the schooner Speedy] and Givens,
afterwards Colonel Givens, superintendent of Indian affairs at

On the 6th they reached Nelles', on the Grand River, or Ouse,
and on the yth they arrived at the residence of Captain Brant
(Theyendanegea) at the Mohawk village, where a feu de joie was
fired and flags and trophies of war displayed. The now venerable
but well built church, the product of the Indians' skill as builders,
a school and an excellent house of the great Chieftain Brant were
then in existence. Captain Brant and some twelve of his followers
here joined the party.

At noon of the loth February the party set out from the
Mohawk village, under the skilful guidance of Brant and his
Indian escort, who built wigwams each evening for the night's
encampment, shot game for the mess and initiated the party into
that form of Canadian national sport, the coon hunt.

Reacts " Lieutenant Governors of I'pper Canada," by permission.


During the next four days the party traversed a section of that
tract of country which, under the superintendence of Talbot, was
destined to become well populated and to be known far and wide
as the Talbot Settlement for their route lay from the vicinity of
Brantford on the Ouse, or Grand River, to La Tranche, or the
Thames, which they crossed on the afternoon of the i2th and
proceeded down the river, partly on the ice, to the vicinity of the
Delaware village, where they were cordially received by the chiefs
of this people, who, driven from their former homes in the United
States, had settled along the Thames. Captain Brant having to
return to a council of the Six Nations, the party spent a day here.
The " Delaware Castle " Major Littlehales describes as pleasantly
situated upon the banks of the Thames, the meadows at the
bottom being cleared to some extent, and in summer planted with
Indian corn. Twelve or fourteen miles below they came to a
Canadian trader's, and, a little beyond, in proceeding down the
river the Indians discovered " a spring of an oily nature, which
upon examination proved to be a kind of petroleum." The riches
of the land were already being fast unfolded to them, for they
next saw an encampment of Chippewas engaged in making maple
sugar, the mildness of the winter having compelled them in a
great measure to abandon their annual hunting. At the new
settlement of the Moravian missionaries, Zeisberger, Senseman,
Edwards and Young, they found the Delawares, under the direc-
tion and control of their Christian instructors, in a progressive
state of civilization, beiug taught different branches of agriculture
and having already cornfields. At a fork of the river at or near
the site of Chatham a mill "of curious construction" was
in course of erection. The settlement where Dolson* then resided
they found very promising, with some respectable inhabitants on
both sides of the river. " Behind it to the south," wrote
Littlehales, " is a range of spacious meadows. Elk are continually
seen upon them and the pools and ponds are full of cray fish."

*Presumably the "Dolsen's," or Dover, frequently mentioned in the
histories of the War of 1812, a few miles below Chatham. John Dolsen was
a captain in the Kent militia in 1812, but Mathew Dolsen acted as guide to
General Harrison, after deserting to the United States, leaving his wife and
five children in Canada until after Proctor's defeat.


From Dolsen's they went to the mouth of the Thames in
carioles and thence along- the borders of Lake St. Clair to the
Detroit River, which, after being honoured with Sifeu de joie from
the Canadian militia, they crossed and entered the garrison,
which was under arms, to receive Governor Simcoe, upon whose
landing a royal salute was fired. The Governor reviewed the
24th regiment Talbot's former corps examined the garrison,
Fort Lejioult and the rest of the works, drove in a "calash" to the
River Roug-e, where he saw a sloop ready to be launched, and
visited the bridge at Bloody Run, where so many British soldiers
were slain, after the failure of Pontiac's attempt to surprise and
capture the fort by treachery.

On the 23rd February the Governor and party left Detroit and
reached Dolsen's the same nig-ht where they spent Sunday,
Lieut. Smith reading- prayers. Colonel McKee, Mr. Baby and
several of the principal inhabitants accompanied them to the point
where they had been met, on their journey down the river, and
here they resumed their knapsacks and walked to the Moravian
village, where two of the missionaries performed service, thence
on to the Delaware village, where the chiefs congratulated the
Governor, gave presents of venison, etc., followed by a dance in
the evening.

On the ist March they left their former path and turned north-
ward, apparently with the intention of examining the site of the
proposed capital at the forks above. On the 2nd March wrote
Major Littlehales, " we struck the Thames at one end of a low,
flat island, enveloped with shrubs and trees ; the rapidity and
strength of the current were such as to have forced a channel
through the mainland, being a peninsula, and to have formed the
island. We walked over a rich meadow and at its extremity came
to the forks of the river. The Governor wished to examine this
situation and its environs ; and we therefore remained here all
day. He judged it to be a situation eminently calculated for the
metropolis of all Canada. Among many other essentials it
possesses the following advantages : command of territory ;
internal situation; central position; facility of water communica-
tion up and down the Thames into Lakes St. Clair, Erie, Huron


and Superior ; navigable for boats near its source and for small
crafts, probably to the Moravian settlement ; to the northward
by a small portage flowing" into Lake Huron ; to the south-
east by a carrying place into Lake Ontario and the River St,
Lawrence ; the soil luxuriantly fertile, the land rich and capable
of being easily cleared and soon put into a state of agriculture ; a
pinery upon an adjacent high knoll, and other timber on the
heights, well calculated for the erection of public buildings ; a
climate not inferior to any part of Canada. To these natural
advantages an object of great consideration is to be added, that
the enormous expenses of the Indian Department would be
greatly diminished, if not abolished ; the Indians would in all
probability be induced to become the carriers of their own peltries
and they would find a ready, contiguous, commodious and
equitable mart, honourably advantageous to government and the
community in general, without their becoming a prey to the
monopolizing and unprincipled trader."

Such was the site of London in 1792, and such its advantages in
the eyes of Governor Simcoe, as the place for the capital, or as
Littlehales puts it " for the metropolis of all Canada."*

Lieutenant Talbot, too, no doubt noted all these advantages,
though it was not until thirty-four more years elapsed that the
town was laid out upon the site reserved for that purpose and for
some years after it was but a straggling village, though ultimately
it has grown to be the largest and most important city of the
Talbot Settlement.

Major Littlehales' diary of this date March ist contains
some interesting incidents : " The young Indians who had
chased a herd of deer in company with Lieutenant Givens,
returned unsuccessful, but brought with them a large porcupine,
which was very seasonable, as our provisions were nearly

*" An incident not recorded in Major Littlehales' journal was the order of a
grand parade (of ten men) and a formal discharge of musketry, issued in
jocose mood by the Governor to Lieut. Givens, which was duly executed as
a ceremony of inauguration for the new capital." Dr. Scadding's Toronto of
Old, p. 352. The Doctor also records, on the same page, the fact that the
Governor at one time intended that the future capital should be named
" Georgina" in compliment to King George III.


expended. This animal afforded us a very good repast and tasted
like a pig. The Newfoundland dog attempted to bite the
porcupine, but soon got his mouth filled with the barbed quills,
which gave him exquisite pain. An Indian undertook to extract
them, and with much perseverance plucked them out, one by one,
and carefully applied a root or decoction, which speedily healed
the wound. Various figures were delineated on trees at the forks
of the Thames, done with charcoal and vermilion ; the most
remarkable were the imitation of men with deers' heads. We
saw a fine eagle on the wing, and two or three large birds,
perhaps vultures."

It may be here mentioned that a son of the Lieutenant Givens
who took part in the chase of the herd of deer over the site of
London, was subsequently the resident county judge there for
many years.

Quitting their wigwam, whose hemlock couches they found
unusually damp on the morning of the 3rd March, the Governor's
party ascended the heights somewhere in the vicinity of the
present London waterworks and striking across country descried
their old path to Detroit, coming at noon to their encampment of
1 4th February, where they were agreeably surprised by meeting
Captain Brant and a numerous retinue. A buck and doe, killed
by one of the Indians, furnished a savoury breakfast next morning.
Proceeding eastward, the party were much amused during their
journey by the chase of lynx by Brant and his Indians with dogs
and guns, the sight of several more porcupines and at the
Mohawk village with the customary Indian dances, most of the
Governor's suite, equipped and dressed in imitation of the Indians,
being adopted, according to Littlehales, as chiefs. On Sunday,
March loth, the Governor and party arrived at Navy Hall once

In August of the same year Talbot attended a council of the
Confederated Indians at the Miami River. In fact, he was
especially employed by the Governor in delicate negotiations with
the Indians, who felt that the peace had been made between the
United States and Great Britain without regard to their interests
and were bent upon excluding the Americans from what they


regarded as their own territories in the west. Britain's chief
interest was to maintain peace and at the same time preserve the
confidence of the red men, by seeing" that they were fairly dealt
with. Talbot no doubt assisted the Governor in establishing the
outpost on the Miami, which occasioned so great an outcry from
the Americans.

One of the difficulties of those early days was the transmission
of despatches by safe means. To hear from England was then a
matter of months and special messengers had not infrequently to
be sent as bearers of despatches and even to obtain intelligence of
matters of public importance. In April, 1793, for instance,
Governor Simcoe having received word from Philadelphia that a
rupture between Great Britain and France was imminent, sent
Lieutenant Talbot to that city to await European news. Before
his return, however, the Governor had received through other
channels Lord Grenville's speech, leaving no doubt on his mind
of war, and from it he anticipated as he wrote " the atrocious
murder of the King of France."

In June, 1794, Talbot prepared to rejoin the army, and in the
latter part of that month, after the meeting of the provincial
legislature, furnished with letters and recommendations from
General Simcoe, he proceeded to England.



TALBOT was at the period of his service with Simcoe a
young gentleman of handsome appearance and polished and
engaging manners in every way calculated to make a favourable
impression in governmental and Court circles. That he did so is
evidenced by his rapid promotion until at the comparatively early
age of twenty-four and one-half years he became a lieutenant-
colonel in the regular army. His family influence probably aided
him, as it undoubtedly had in the earlier days, when he, a boy of
eleven years, obtained his first commission.

The 5th regiment of foot, in which Talbot was appointed
lieutenant-colonel in 1796, had been at Niagara during the whole
of the period he had been on the staff of Governor Simcoe there.
In 1797 the officers and sergeants proceeded to England from
Quebec, the rank and file having been drafted into the 24th

In 1799 the 5th foot proceeded to Holland, being divided into
two battalions, the second of which was commanded by Lieut. -
Colonel Talbot. These battalions with the 35th regiment formed
the 8th brigade. This formed part of the British force, which,
with the other allied armies, was 9perating upon the continent
against the French.

On the loth October, 1799, the 5th was attacked by the
French in front of Winkle. The second battalion, under Colonel
Talbot, maintained its position until ordered to retreat by Prince
William, who, in his general order of the i2th, thanked Lieut.-
Colonels Talbot and Lindsay of the 2nd battalion for their
exertions on the loth.


The campaign, however, was an inglorious one for the British
and equally so apparently for our ambitious colonel, who either in
this or the equally inglorious campaign of 1794, is said to have
upon one occasion disobeyed orders by taking a different route
from that directed, to save his men, as he said, from unnecessary
fatigue and harassment, and so incurred the mild displeasure of
the Duke of York, under whom he was serving. The Duke,
however, in a friendly note to him, good-naturedly referred to this
breach of orders as simply a " freak " of the Colonel's.

Unlike his brother Neil, lieutenant-colonel of the i4th dragoons,
who, in 1 8 10, fell gallantly leading a charge against the enemy at
Ciudad Rodrigo, Thomas Talbot seems to have passed unscathed
the few remaining years of his service in the army and then
sought a life of peace, retirement and solitude in the wilderness
though that peace, as it turned out, was not to remain unbroken.

The 5th foot returned in 1799 to England, and in 1800 both
battalions were ordered to Gibraltar, where they continued till the
peace of Amiens, when they again returned home. The second
battalion was disbanded in 1803, the first going to Guernsey. In
1801, however, Col. Talbot was again in Canada, as will
presently appear, presumably on leave.

Before leaving the army and Great Britain, which he finally did
on the disbandment of the second battalion of the 5th foot, in
1803, Colonel Talbot had ample opportunities for observing and
participating in the fashionable life of the period. That it was
dissolute and profligate to an alarming extent is a matter of
history. The strict morality and exemplary private life of King
George III. had no attractions for his sons, who, it is said by
some, were driven by the austerity of his home life to excessive
debauchery. Gambling, drunkenness and profligacy were com-
mon in all fashionable circles, and especially in those frequented
by the Prince of Wales and other sons of the King. With some
of the latter Colonel Talbot was on terms approaching intimacy.
He had served with the Duke of Kent Queen Victoria's father
in Canada and under the Dukes of York and Clarence (afterwards
William IV.) in Holland. With the Duke of Cumberland, after-


wards King of Hanover, who was just his own age, he was on
intimate terms, as will presently appear.

Talbot had had a draught perhaps even drank deeply of the
fashionable dissipations of the period, and that, too, at a time of
life when ordinarily such things are most alluring, and it is to his
credit that he was able to turn his back upon them.

His thoughts reverted to Canada, and early in 1801, before even
the negotiations for that peace which the treaty of Amiens con-
firmed were begun, he was back on the shores of Lake Erie, axe
in hand, seeking a place where he might carve out a home and
establish a settlement.

Allotments of large tracts of land and even of entire townships
had been made to men who purposed to induce large numbers of
settlers to people the wilderness. Incidentally, or as a chief
object according to individual aims they no doubt hoped to
build up large estates for themselves. Governor Simcoe's plan of
settlement for the province included such modes of gathering
loyal settlers with leaders or chief men whose undoubted loyalty
to British institutions, and military knowledge, would be a guar-
antee of peace to the country and attachment to the British
crown. Army officers were to receive large grants according to
their rank and he had begun making appointments of lieutenants
of counties. At Navy Hall there had been discussions as to the
cultivation of hemp, whose products would be used by the navy
and Talbot had already experimented, apparently with consider-
able success, in its growth. The young officer, if not a leading
advocate of these various ideas while with the Governor, had
imbibed them, while the descriptions of Charlevoix and his own
travels in the wilderness had given him a taste for a pioneer life.
. The intervening period during which he had mingled in alternate
scenes of war, garrison and fashionable life had not served to
change his inclinations. It would rather seem to have confirmed
them. Possibly the pace set by his associates was too fast for the
young colonel or for his purse. Disappointed military ambition,
unrequited love, the mild disapprobation of his commanding
officer in Holland, disgust at the profligacy of the age all and
many more supposed reasons have been canvassed, to account for


his turning- his back upon society and seeking a home in the
solitude of the forest.

The Colonel himself gave little satisfaction to those who sought
a clue to his motives, apart from his 'confessed admiration for
Charlevoix's descriptions, and his jesting allusion to an unrequited

Perhaps the opening and closing paragraphs of a letter to the
Duke of Cumberland may afford the best evidence as to his
mental attitude at this time and serve to strengthen the theory
that society, from its profligacy, had completely lost its charm for
" the once gay Tom Talbot," as he called himself. Indeed it
contains a manly expression of steadfastness of purpose which
shows that he had turned his back upon the allurements of St.
James' ere it was too late. This letter, which is worthy of
reproduction here in full, reads as follows :


May i6th, 1801.

Althoug-h I am separated from England by some thousands of miles, Your
Royal Highness will find that I am not beyond reach of proving troublesome,
to which intrusion I am led, by command of Your Royal Highness, when you
condescended so far to interest yourself in my welfare as to desire that in
whatever manner I could find your influence necessary to solicit it. I am now
to have the honor to acquaint Your Royal Highness of my safe arrival in my
favourite settlement after the most propitious passage, and as I am persuaded
that Your Royal Highness will be satisfied, I will add, I find my situation
quite what I could have wished but I have one request to make which, if
Your Royal Highness will have the goodness to exert yourself in carrying
into effect, will complete my happiness in this world.

Owing to some neglect of General Simcoe's, I find that the necessary
warrants for my lands were not issued previous to his quitting the Govern-
ment of this Province, and since then there have been new regulations
adopted which renders the possession of lands more expensive and difficult
of obtaining than when I left the Province in 1794, and as I flatter myself that
Your Royal Highness will admit that I am as loyal a subject and equally
entitled to the Degree of Hidalgo as other adventurers in a new country, I
throw myself on Your Royal Highness's power to have it confirmed and to
prevent its producing discontent, I will beg leave to point out a mode for its
execution. There are parcels of land under the name of Townships granted
in this country to Heads of Societies, which possibly may in time prove
beneficial to the proprietor. Now what I have to petition of Your Royal


Highness is that you will have the goodness (I may add charity) to ask of the
King the grant of a Township in the Province of Upper Canada for yourself,
exempt from the fees to government and obligations of location, for instance
the Township of Houghton in the County of Norfolk on Lake Erie, or any
other adjacent one, which may not be already granted, which when Your
Royal Highness has procured His Majesty's patent for, it must be transmitted
through the Secretary of State for the Home Department to the Governor and
Council of the Province of Upper Canada, in order that the necessary
Provincial deeds may be made out for possession. Your Royal Highness
can, on receiving the Royal Patent, make a legal transfer of the grant to me,
and permit me to request that you will have the goodness to cause duplicates
to be made of the transfer. As the conveyance of letters to this country is
irregular and uncertain, my sister Barbara will take charge of them or any
other communication Your Royal Highness may honor me with, she having
my directions how to forward them.

I have pointed out the Township of Houghton, as it is situated near to my
place of residence. Should Your Royal Highness succeed, I will have
infinite happiness in paying my duty personally to express my very great
obligation for the protection afforded to the once gay Tom Talbot. It will
materially assist me, Your Royal Highness's managing so that the grant is
exempted from the usual fees to government, which there cannot be any
difficulty in effecting, it being a Royal Patent.

I promise myself the enjoyment of every comfort in this country, excepting
that material one of seeing those I most respect and love. A small income
provides the necessary luxuries in this Province to a settler, as his own
industry and labour procures him provisions. I am out every morning at
sunrise in my smock frock and burning the forest to form a farm ; could I but
be seen by some of my St. James's friends when I come home to my frugal
supper as black as any chimney-sweeper they would exclaim, " What a
dam'd blockhead you have been, Tom ! " but I say " No," as I actually eat
my homely fare with more zest than I ever did the best dinner in London. It
is time that I should beg a thousand pardons for this intrusion, but I am
satisfied of the goodness of Your Royal Highness's heart, and sincerely
praying that you may experience every blessing of this life, I have the honor
to be, with the most unfeigned gratitude,

Your Royal Highness's

Most dutiful and faithful servant,


To H. R. H. the Duke of Cumberland.

Where " Skitteewaabaa " Ojibway for whiskey or firewater
was is now a matter of speculation. Either Port Bruce or Port
Stanley would satisfy the condition as to proximity to the town-
ship of Houghton, they being at the east and west boundaries


respectively of the then adjoining" township of Yarmouth, whose
capabilities for the growth of hemp General Simcoe afterwards
certified that Colonel Talbot knew, presumably from personal
experience ; for Simcoe stated further that Talbot had been very
successful in the cultivation of this product, and to a greater
extent than perhaps any other settler, and that it was his object
"to extend this cultivation through the whole township "-
Yarmouth. It will be observed that Talbot in the above letter
refers to Skitteewaabaa as his " favourite settlement" and his
" place of residence," to which Houghton was conveniently near.
From this the presumption is strong that Talbot had some time
previously, and probably during his service with Simcoe, pitched
upon Yarmouth as a desirable place both for settlement and
residence and for the cultivation of hemp, and that now he was,
during an interval in the period of his active service in the army,
performing still more active work on the shores of Lake Erie, near
one or other of its natural harbours, clearing- the land and testing
its capabilities for hemp raising, by putting in the crop which
Simcoe may have referred to when he wrote in 1803 of the
Colonel's success in that branch of agriculture.

Colonel Talbot's sister Barbara (Lady Young) did not, as the
sequel shows, receive the deed from the Duke of Cumberland, as
it was never made.

The Duke of Cumberland transmitted the letter quoted to his
brother, the Duke of Kent, who made application for him to Lord
Hobart, Secretary of State for the Colonies, by the following
letter, in which he speaks in high terms of Colonel Talbot :


nth October, 1801.

It is at the request of my brother, the Duke of Cumberland, that, as
Secretary of State for the Colonies, I trouble Your Lordship with the enclosed.
It is a letter to him from Colonel Talbot, late of the 5th regiment of foot, who
was very useful to General Simcoe, when that respectable officer was
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Upper Canada. Your Lordship must
understand that he is now retired from the service and is busily occupied
establishing himself as a settler in Upper Canada. It appears he had a
promise from General Simcoe of lands, at the time they were together in that


country, but from some oversight the warrants for putting him in possession of
them were not made out, previous to the General's leaving North America, in
consequence of which, instead of obtaining the lands, as would have then
been the case, exempted from fees to government, and the obligation of
location, he will now be compelled, unless there is a special order in his
favour from the Secretary of State to the contrary, to incur a considerable
expense, in order to get possession of his grant. To obviate this, from his
ignorance of the difficulty there is for any of His Majesty's sons to address
him with a request of any sort, but more especially of the nature of that which
he points out, he has made an application to my brother to ask for a township
in his own name, to be hereafter transferred to him. But this is quite out of
the question, for the Duke of Cumberland by no means wishes that his name
should appear in this transaction any farther than that Your Lordship should
know, he is extremely anxious that whatever indulgence can be shown
Colonel Talbot should be afforded him and that he will consider himself
personally obliged to you by anything done in his favour. The object, there-
fore, of this application is to solicit your Lordship's good offices, that an
instruction may be sent, if not contrary to established rules, to the Lieutenant-
Governor of the Province of Upper Canada to make a grant of a Township to
Colonel Talbot and preferably of that which he himself has pointed out,
exempted from government fees. The grounds on which such an application
is made in his favour are, in the first place, that, had General Simcoe not
omitted doing what was necessary to complete his promise before he left
Canada, the Colonel would then have become possessed of his lands on these
terms, and in the second, that the services he rendered General Simcoe while
in that country, and the opinion entertained of him by that excellent officer
render him very deserving of this small indulgence.

I have now only to add that in meeting my brother's wishes upon this
subject, Your Lordship will also oblige me, and therefore flatter myself that,
as far as in your power lays, you will be good enough to attend to this
application in behalf of Colonel Talbot. With sentiments of high regard and
esteem, I remain,

My dear Lord, ever yours,

Most faithfully and sincerely,

The Right Honourable Lord Hobart, etc., etc., etc.

From these letters it will be seen that King George III.'s sons
knew better than to approach him with the Colonel's proposition,
which, however, they hoped to have effected through the ordinary
governmental channels.

It may be observed in justification of Colonel Talbot's proposal
that, while it bears the appearance of a cunningly devised job to


deprive the province of its legitimate revenue, had General
Simcoe, before leaving- Canada, authorized a grant to Colonel
Talbot, which the latter says he neglected to do, the grantee
would have obtained his lands free of the fees and expenses sub-
sequently imposed, which he deemed onerous ; and, although the
grant of a whole township would have largely exeeeded the
quantity to which, under Simcoe's policy he would have been, as
a field officer, entitled, yet this would have been a favour by no
means unprecedented in the early days of the province.

In after years when controversies arose between the Colonel and
the provincial authorities regarding patent fees, he had ample
time for reflection upon what " might have been," had he obtained
his grant before these were imposed.

It will be noticed that the Duke of Kent referred to Talbot as
already ''retired from the service" and "busily occupied in
establishing himself as a settler in Upper Canada "in 1801.

The Colonel's "favourite settlement" of 1801 was not the
Talbot Settlement as subsequently developed though afterwards
perhaps embraced within it. With the latter neither Prince
Ernest Augustus either as Duke of Cumberland or King of
Hanover nor Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, had any connection,
save that the recollection of their letters may possibly have added
weight to Colonel Talbot's subsequent application to Lord Hobart
through General Simcoe.



BALKED in his attempt to develop his " favourite settlement " by
royal favour, through the instrumentality of the royal dukes, in
1801, Colonel Talbot once more repaired to England.

In 1803 he, nothing daunted, sought and obtained the active
assistance of General Simcoe, who had left Canada in 1796. The
General waited upon Lord Hobart, and, at his request, wrote a
gracefully worded letter detailing Colonel Talbot's services to the
country and himself without any salary or emolument and out-
lining his plan of settlement. This letter so fully explains both
Simcoe's policy and Talbot's plans that it is here reproduced in
full :


nth February, 1803.

In consequence of Mr. Talbot having acquainted me that Mr. Sullivan, on
his presenting a request for a grant of land in Upper Canada, had intimated
it would be proper I should inform Your Lordship of Mr. Talbot's special
services, I took the earliest opportunity of waiting upon Your Lordship, and
in consequence of the interview which I had the honour to hold with you
yesterday, I obey Your Lordship's commands in detailing Mr. Talbot's views
and the nature of his claims to the protection of His Majesty's government.

Upon my arrival in Canada, to carry the constitution which had been
granted to that colony into effect, Mr. Talbot accompanied me as my private
and confidential secretary into Upper Canada. He remained in my family
four years, when he was called home, as major of the 5th regiment, then
ordered to Flanders. During that period he not only conducted many
details and important duties, incidental to the original establishment of a
colony, in matters of internal regulation, to my entire satisfaction, but was
employed in the most confidential measures necessary to preserve that
country in peace, without violating on the one hand, the relations of amity


with the United States ; and, on the other, alienating the affection of the
Indian nations, at that period in open war with them .

In this very critical situation, I principally made use of Mr. Talbot for the
most confidential intercourse with the several Indian tribes ; and occasionally
with His Majesty's Minister at Philadelphia these duties, without any salary
or emolument, he executed to my perfect satisfaction.

I consider these circumstances, my Lord, as authorizing me in general
terms to recommend Mr. Talbot to your consideration and protection. Mr.
Talbot's specific application, which I beg leave to support to the utmost of
my power, consists of two points. The first is the grant of five thousand
acres of land as a field officer, actually and bona fide, meaning to reside in
the Province for the purpose of establishing himself therein. The King's
bounty having been extended to the field officers, who had served during the
American war, in grants to a similar extent (exclusive of an allotment of land
for every individual which their families might consist of) it was judged
expedient by myself, Mr. Chief Justice Osgoode and other confidential
officers of the Crown in that colony, to extend the provision of five thousand
acres to any field officer of character, who, bona fide should become a settler
therein, it being obvious that it was for His Majesty's interest that a loyal set
of European gentlemen should, as speedily as possible, be obtained to take
the lead in the several districts. This principle, my Lord, was acted upon at
the time of my departure from the country, and should I to this moment have
remained in the government thereof, I could have seen no reason whatever
for departing from it. In consequence had Mr. Talbot been totally unknown
to me, except by his character and the high rank he had borne in the King's
service, I should have thought him a most eligible acquisition to this Province,
and on this public ground, without hesitation, have granted him 5,000 acres
on the same principles that had been laid down and acted upon this is the
first part of Mr. Talbot's request. The second request of Mr. Talbot is that
these 5,000 acres may be granted in the Township of Yarmouth in the County
of Norfolk, on Lake Erie, and that the remainder of that township may be
reserved for such a period as may appear advisable to government, for the
purpose of his settling it on the following specific plan, namely : that 200
acres shall be alloted to him tor every family he shall establish thereon 50
acres thereof to be granted to each family in perpetuity, and the remaining
150 acres of each lot to become his property for the expense and trouble of
collecting and locating them.

Mr. Sullivan in a conversation had suggested to Mr. Talbot the possibility
of procuring settlers in this country, but many reasons oppose themselves to
that idea, in which I have the honour of perfectly agreeing with Your
Lordship ; but should it be practicable to turn the tide of emigration, which
government cannot prevent from taking place to the United States, ultimately
to rest in this Province, I beg to consider it as an object of the greatest
national importance, and that will speedily fulfil the idea with which I under-


took the administration of that government, under my Lord Granville's
auspices of elevating this valuable part of His Majesty's dominions from the
degrading situation of a petty factory, to be a powerful support and protection
to the British Empire ; in some instances such a plan in the infancy of the
government had great success, as I had the honour of pointing out to Your
Lordship, and Mr. Talbot from habit, observation and nature, in my judg-
ment, is well suited to give it a wider extent.

His plan is to introduce himself amongst a large body of Welsh and Scotch
families, who arrived at New York in the summer of 1801, and who have
temporarily fixed themselves in the interior of that State, many of whom are
already disgusted with the dissolute principles of the people there, and feel a
strong inclination to return under the government of England, but do not
possess the means of purchasing land, or paying the fees demanded by the
Province on grants. It remains only for me to add, that Mr. Talbot having
been very successful in the cultivation of hemp, on proper principles and to a
greater extent perhaps than any other settler in the Province, is induced to
prefer the distant Township of Yarmouth, as the soil is well adapted to the
growth of this valuable commodity. It is his object to extend this cultivation
through the whole township, and by precept and example to enforce
principles of loyalty, obedience and industry, amongst those with whom he
will be surrounded. I cannot but hope that Your Lordship will be struck with
the manhood with which Mr. Talbot, whose situation in life cannot be
unknown to Your Lordship, after having with great credit arrived at the rank
of Lieutenant-Colonel, has preferred the incessant and active employment
which he has undertaken, and that under Your Lordship's patronage may
lead to the highest public advantage. On this public ground, abstracted
from my personal affection and regard for him, I hope that Your Lordship
will give direction to the Lieutenant-Governor, or person administering the
government of Upper Canada, that the prayer of his petition be immediately
granted (embraced in 4th paragraph of this letter) and I further entreat from
Your Lordship's goodness and benevolence that Mr. Talbot may have the
honour of being the bearer of your despatches on this subject, as he has for
some time taken his passage on board of a vessel that will sail without fail on
Tuesday next for New York.

I have the honour to be, etc.,

To the Right Hon. Lord Hobart, etc., etc., etc.

The following points in this letter are worthy of special notice :
i. That Simcoe regarded Talbot, upon the grounds of character
and military rank alone, as "a most eligible acquisition to the
Province." 2. His application was made and apparently acceded
to with the design and object, not of encouraging emigration


from the mother country, but of turning" the tide already flowing
to the United States, "ultimately to rest in this Province" an
object regarded "as of the greatest national importance" by
Simcoe and apparently so regarded by the home government also.
3. That Talbot had "with great credit arrived at the rank of
lieutenant-colonel." 4. Yet, though his services had been such
as to justify his rapid promotion, he was not apparently content
with the life of an officer not on active service (as his previously
leaving it for administrative work with Simcoe and again
abandoning in turn the latter when active service was called for,
had already shown), preferring " the incessant and active employ-
ment " of a pioneer in the forest, as a career tending to become
of " the highest public advantage." 6. That Simcoe had personal
" affection and regard " for Talbot, but recommended him solely
on public grounds.

Simcoe was not a man to place his views and recommendations
lightly upon paper and the foregoing may be regarded as opinions
sincerely entertained by him. He had had ample opportunity for
forming a just opinion of Talbot's character, ability and aims,
which, it has been already suggested, he had himself influenced.
How far his young friend and former confidant justified his
estimate and predictions in after life will be an interesting subject
for future observation.

This time the Colonel was content to ask for the usual grant to
a field officer 5,000 acres with the reservation of the remainder
of the township for the purpose and on condition of his receiving
200 acres for every family he established thereon 50 acres for
each family and 150 acres for himself for the trouble and expense
he might be put to. The Township of Yarmouth was now the
object of his desire in place of the Township of Houghton
mentioned to the Duke of Cumberland. Colonel Talbot had
already received a grant of 1,200 acres the customary grant to
officers settling in the Province.

Colonel Talbot sailed for Canada again, armed with a letter
from Lord Hobart to the Provincial Governor, Lieut. -General
Hunter, containing the authority of His Majesty for a grant of
5,000 acres in Yarmouth, or, if the same should have already been


appropriated, in any other township which he might select.
The additional reservation of 200 acres for each family settled was
also to be made in the same township.

In consequence of the large grants already made in the Town-
ship of Yarmouth to members of the Baby family of Detroit and
Sandwich, Talbot was constrained to locate his land elsewhere.
He selected the Township of Dunwich, the next township but
one to Yarmouth on the west.

The 5,000 acres selected by the Colonel were in the south-
western part of the township and were comprised in two grants
the one comprising lots 14 to 24, inclusive, and lots A and B, in
the nth and i2th concessions of Dunwich the other, lots 22, 23
and 24 in the Qth, and broken lot 5 and lots 21 to 24 inclusive and
lot A, in the loth concession the whole forming (exclusive of lot
5, which is now under water) a solid block of land.

It may be observed that, according to the terms of Lord
Hobart's despatch, the additional grant of 200 acres per family, to
Colonel Talbot, was to be made only upon his having surrendered
50 acres of his original grant to each family for whom he might
claim and that such family should at the time be actually in
possession of such fifty acres. This condition was the subject of
much future controversy.



IT WAS on the 2ist May, 1803 just when war between Great
Britain and France was being- resumed that Colonel Talbot
landed at Port Talbot and actually began his settlement on
the spot where he continued to live, with but brief intermissions,
for the remainder of his days. He had already, as we have seen,
essayed to commence in 1801, at some point probably at either
Kettle or Catfish Creek but had been obliged to desist and
return to the old country to secure his grant, which now lay in

" Here will I roost ! " he is reported to have exclaimed to
Governor Simcoe, on the occasion of a previous visit to the spot,
in the humourous way habitual with him. " Here will I roost
and will soon make the forest tremble under the wings of the flock
I will invite by my warblings around me ! "

He set to work with a will and energy characteristic of him,
and soon had erected a log house on the hill facing the lake to the
south and overlooking the valley of Talbot Creek to the north and
north-east. Here with a few men servants he lived in his embryo
Canadian " Castle Malahide," a humble log abode of three rooms,
store-room, sitting-room and kitchen, which was afterwards
enlarged into a rambling collection of one-storied buildings, not
inconsiderable in extent, but with no pretensions to architectural

What the buildings lacked in beauty, however, their site
supplied ; for no fairer spot is there along the whole extent of Lake
Erie's shore, from Turkey Point westward. Its beauties were
enhanced at the season of the Colonel's arrival by the fresh
verdure and newly awakened life of the forest, the swollen stream


and the blue waters of the lake, now free of ice.

The Colonel's " warblings" were, however, lost in the density
of the forest for several seasons, during which he had ample time
for perfecting himself in the several menial occupations so indis-
pensible to a successful backwoods settler, for servants were
often lacking, or otherwise employed.

Jmnes^_FJeming, who is said to have accompanied Governor
Simcoe, Talbot, and others, in the capacity of boatman, on one of
their early expeditions to the West, formed then a predilection for
the country and had settled in 1796 on lot 6 on the river front of
Aldboro', not far from the settlement of the Moravian mission-
aries, who came in 1792. Fleming was thus the earliest known
white settler within the confines of what is now the county of
Elgin. His sons afterwards took up lands, through Colonel
Talbot, in the township of Mosa, and his descendants are now
respected citizens of the district. Below, along the river Thames,
as we have seen, there were, besides the Moravian mission, other
settlers at rare intervals Carpenter, a sailor, the Dolsens and
others who had come in even before the advent of Governor
Simcoe, access from the older settlements about Detroit being
comparatively easy and the route for traders and others, who
passed overland between Detroit and Niagara, being usually along
the river.

But of settlers brought in by or following Talbot there was but
one for the first three years or more. This one was George
Crane, a discharged soldier, who came with the Colonel. He
remained with Colonel Talbot three years and then settled about
four miles to the west. His son Anthony has spent a long life in
the same vicinity.

The townships though blocked out were for the most part as
yet unsubdivided. Roads were of course unknown.

John Bostwick is reported to have first blazed the line of what
was afterwards the Talbot Road, in 1804, the year in which he
obtained the grant of the first two lots on the Yarmouth lake front
at the mouth of Kettle Creek, now Port Stanley. He was the
son of the Rev. Gideon Bostwick, rector of Great Barrington,
Massachusetts, where John and the other children of the family


were born. John was, however, reared by Mr. Hambly, a well-
known surveyor, who laid out Aldborough and other townships, and
evidently imparted to the young" man some of his professional
knowledge. John Bostwick was in 1800 appointed high constable
and in 1805 sheriff of the London district succeeding his father-
in-law, Colonel Joseph Ryerson, the first occupant of this office,
who was appointed in 1800. John, as well as a brother,
Henry, were, as militia officers, destined to play somewhat con-
spicuous parts in the settlement in the war of 1812-14. Colonel
John Bostwick, as he was afterwards styled, was a man of high
character and undoubted bravery, though of retiring- disposition,
simple manners and even temper. His wife, whom he married in
1808, was a daughter of Colonel Joseph Ryerson of Long Point
settlement, and it was not until later that they took up their
permanent residence as the first settlers of Port Stanley.

Between the years 1808 and 1812 a number of families were !
"located." John Barber and James Watson came from Pennsyl-
vania and settled to the north-east of Port Talbot, in Southwold.
The Pearces, Storeys and Pattersons skirted the shores of the lake
by boat, from the same state, and landed at Port Talbot in 1809
thirteen souls in all, with looms and wheels for the manufacture
of woollen and linen goods, and cattle, driven along the shore.
Stephen Backus followed in 1810. These were settlers after the ',
Colonel's own heart, and soon formed a settlement in Dunwich to
the west of Port Talbot, known as "Little Ireland." Daniel
Rapelje, of Huguenot descent, and David Mandeville, came from j
Long Point and built on the site of St. Thomas (then only known I
as Kettle Creek) their log houses, the former at the top of the hill
on the first lot in Yarmouth, the latter just below, in the valley on
the Southwold side of the townline. David Secord, Garrett
Oakes, Benjamin Wilson and Moses Rice were among those who
settled about this time along Talbot road. In Delaware, Bird,
Brigham, Springer, Westbrook and Sherick had established

So slow had been the influx, however, up to this that in 1809'
twelve families are said to have formed the whole number I
scattered along the line of the Talbot road throughout Dunwich,'


Southwold, Yarmouth and Malahide. In that year that portion
f the road from the east line of Middleton to Port Talbot was
surveyed by Mahlon Burwell, a native of New Jersey and a
gentleman who became a conspicuous figure in the life of the
ettlement for the rest of his life as colonel of militia and member
)f parliament, as well as in his capacity of surveyor of many
>ortions of the township lands and of the town of London. He
was moreover, in 1811, appointed registrar of land titles for
Middlesex, and was elected to represent Middlesex and Oxford in
parliament first in 1812. He settled near Colonel Talbot, where
the townline between Southwold and Dunwich is crossed by the
Talbot road, and here the first registry office for the county of
Middlesex was established, at what was afterwards known as
Burwell's Corners or Burwell Park. Thomas Horner had, how-
ever, been registrar since 1800 for the counties of Oxford and
Middlesex. Colonel Burwell's name will frequently appear in
succeeding pages.

Little work was there for a registrar as yet, however. Colonel
Talbot performed all the duties of that office so far as the settlers
were concerned with pencil and map ; entering the settler's name
upon his lot, after the latter had passed inspection and satisfied
the head of the settlement of his loyalty, moral character and
general fitness. In case a transfer of the land for failure to
perform settlement duties or other cause became necessary, a piece
of India rubber cleared the title of its encumbrance and a fresh
name took its place. For the first few years these office duties
were but light, though the entertainment of the incomers who had
perforce to pay a visit to Port Talbot, whether they came by water
or on foot, was at times no light tax upon the Colonel's patience,
as well as his resources. Some of those who came from across
the ocean a few years later were, indeed, so unaccustomed to
pioneer hardships as to require schooling.

"We never made a bed," said one of a numerous party one
night, when the Colonel, handing them a pile of blankets,
requested them to make their own beds on the floor. Forthwith
the Colonel took the mattress, placed it on the floor, turned over
three chairs so that the backs would serve as bolsters, spread


one blanket, then turned round and said : " Spread the rest of
the blankets fairly on top of that and learn to help yourselves in
Canada," adding as he again assisted their awkward hands, " I
have often made my bed of hemlock boughs and considered it no
hard work."

While they dined, he paced the room giving them instructions
how to build houses, clear land, plant corn and potatoes and do
other necessary work, exhorting them to industry, patience and
sobriety at the same time not omitting the customary courtesy
of a glass of good whiskey.

The settlers on the prairie lands of Western Canada, where the
virgin soil awaits only the plow and seed to awake it to produc-
tiveness, escape the initial difficulty which faced the pioneers
of this region the clearing of the land to render it fit for crops,
the endless chop-chop-chopping of the giant trees, the first of
which had of course to be cut into lengths and used for the con-
struction of the early rough, though often comfortable bouse,
with its broad, rough, plastered fireplace, its rude settle-beds and
benches. In this fireplace were consumed huge logs of timber,
sometimes of black walnut or other now priceless kinds, roaring
up the chimney in sparks and smoke and giving oftimes the only
light to be obtained or indeed required by the family in the long
winter evenings. Sometimes a tallow " dip " or a rag in a dish
of grease added to the general illumination. Bread was baked in
a Dutch oven or a bake kettle. The kettle was sometimes hung
on an iron crane, but usually set on hot coals, with coals on lid or
cover also. " Bread thus baked," remarked an old settler
recently, with a smack, " was as sweet, if not sweeter, than bread
now baked in fancy ranges."

But to bake bread, flour was required, or at least some coarse
substitute. A stump hollowed at the top by fire, and a rough
wooden pestle, formed the ordinary means for grinding the
grain into coarse, but not unwholesome flour or meal, from which
bran and shorts were not extracted. Sometimes a hollowed
pair of stones in the hollowed stump, the upper one fitted with '
a handle, produced a superior brand of home-made flour. In
a neighborhood where a hand mill was owned, it did duty for


all its owner's neighbours.

Colonel Talbot erected the first water-mill in the settlement at
his own expense, a short distance above the mouth of Talbot
Creek, and it is said to have been in working order as early as
1808, but was burned by American marauders during the war of

To obtain flour, however ground, grain was required. Seed,
usually supplied by Colonel Talbot at first, was sown wheat,
barley, peas, oats. While the land was virgin, it was not worked,
the grain being hand-sown, raked or harrowed (sometimes a tree
top or branch doing duty for harrow) and covered with leaves,
roots and loose earth indian corn being planted with an axe or
hoe. The crops were reaped with sickles in some cases with
only knives or scissors.

In this laborious work the settlers' wives were at times forced
by circumstances to participate nor did they shrink from the
task. An instance or two of the hardships of the pioneers and
their wives in Aldboro' township at a later date, when intermittent
fevers were devastating their young settlement, may be given.

Finlay McDiarmid, an early settler, (grandfather of the present
member of the Legislature for West Elgin) ; was confined to
the house by ague, while his entire crop of wheat, an acre and a
half, was ready for harvesting*. His winter's bread depended upon
its being saved, and, in the absence of even a sickle, his faithful wife
not only cut it all with a butcher knife, but threshed the grain and
ground it in a hand-mill to feed her two infant children and sick
husband. It is a satisfaction to know that this heroic woman
lived to within one month of a full century of years, passing away
in September, 1878.

Another settler, Gregor McGregor, was taken down with the
same complaint, after having planted a newly cleared field with
corn and potatoes, and before he had had time to fence it in. His
wife split rails enough to fence the field a four-acre one and,
having no oxen, carried the rails on her back and erected the
necessary fence, to secure the family's food her husband being
unable to do more than, in intervals of his complaint, indicate to
her where to drive the wedges.


It may be added that these are but two instances, out of very
many, of extraordinary fortitude and perseverance exhibited by the
mothers of the settlement of Highland Scotch in Aldborough, while
the wives and daughters of settlers of other nationalities at times
showed themselves equally ready and courageous in time of need.

Before sheep were brought in, coarse linen cloth made from the
home-grown flax, by the settlers themselves, was the only kind
obtainable. Later the spinning wheel was busy in every house
and the hand-loom also, with the product of the imported sheep,
which were gradually brought in.

Colonel Talbot was an especial admirer of the sheep and its
warm fleece. It is rarely one obtains a description of his appear-
ance except as clad in his sheepskin coat and cap the sheep's
tail forming both tassel to the cap and muffler for the neck.

The Colonel did not shrink from any work his hands found to
do, however menial, during these first years. In the words of an
old settler he " baked his own bread, milked his own cows, made
his own butter and cheese, washed his own clothes, ironed and
dressed his own linen." Indeed he is said to have taken special
pride in his skill as a bread-maker. He set an example of self-
reliance and independence to the settlers by using, when at home,
no clothing but home-made, from the wool, hemp and flax grown
on his own farm.

" You can have the land, if you promise always to wear such
clothes as you now do," he is reported as saying to an applicant
in homespun " instead of the dandy suit you wore before "
referring to a previous unsuccessful visit of the same young man,
clad in broadcloth, when the Colonel had declared he would grant
no land to anyone dressed " in the rotten refuse of the Manchester

The early settlers had to supply themselves as best they could
with shoes, as well as stockings, of home manufacture, for winter
wear. Indian moccasins were useful, but only at certain seasons.
In summer such superfluous luxuries as footwear of any kind were
not much in evidence. The straw hat for summer, the coonskin
cap for winter in fact all clothes for both bed and body were
home-made. For tea the fragrant spicewood and aromatic


sassafras answered well enough roast peas, and even toast, made
1 coffee. The maple produced sugar, molasses, vinegar, soap.
Salt, the chief desideratum, was imported at infinite cost and
trouble. Prices paid for it seem utterly fabulous at the present
day. Iron could only be procured with equal difficulty at first,
though in later years bog iron was found in Bayham and South
Norfolk sufficient for the chief needs of that day while salt is
now among the chief exports of the prolific county of Essex.
-- Commerce took, of necessity, the form of barter. Money was
at first a thing almost unknown. The root of all evil did not then
grow in the soil though later on the soil produced it in abund-
ance at first by the sale of " black salts," a product of the
leached ashes of burnt logs and timber, rendered into potash and
pearl ash and bought by the early merchants for export thus
supplying the means for payment of taxes, one of the few things
for which cash was ere long required. These black salts are thus
humourously referred to by an old settler Freeman Talbot,
formerly of London township who .wrote, " What is black
salts ? It is the father of potash, the grandfather of pearl ash,
the great grandfather of saleratus, the great, great grandfather of
soda and a distant relation of the baking powder of the present

The labours, difficulties and privations of the first settlers have
been thus roughly sketched. They suffered other hardships from
external foes. The Indians as a rule were peaceable when met
with, though an occasional prowling red man gave trouble one
Dunwich pioneer was murdered by such a one. But the settler
fortunate enough to possess a cow had to keep her within sight
while he chopped in the woods by day, and tie her to the house
door by night, if he would keep her secure from wolves. Even
then he must be in readiness to come to her assistance if attacked.
The oxen, which did duty for horses, would defend themselves
against wolves but sheep when abroad were completely at their
mercy. The racoons and squirrels devoured the wheat and other
grain the foxes and weasels, the poultry. The bears, like the
Indians, were peaceable if not interfered with and not too hungry,
but dangerous when roused or ravenous. The rattlesnake was


the only reptile to be much feared and soon the settler learned
from the' Indian the herbs and roots which served as antidotes for
the poison of its bite and ere long" the sovereign antidote,
whiskey, became both plentiful and cheap throughout the



MEANTIME settlement was proceeding slowly in several town-
ships placed under Colonel Talbot's charge by the provincial
government. Talbot road, as has been seen, had been surveyed
to Port Talbot, and in 1811 the survey was continued west to the
west line of Howard, and the road was being constructed, after
a rough fashion, by the settlers as part of the settlement duties
imposed upon them as conditions of their obtaining grants each
settler having to clear one-half the road in front of his lot.

A road was projected to connect Talbot road with the township
of Westminster, where already a settlement was (in 1811) begun
by a certain person bearing the name of Simon Zelotes Watson,
who aspired to become a sort of partner with Colonel Talbot in
obtaining settlers his'apparent design being to bring a number
of settlers from Lower Canada to Westminster, settle them upon
crown lands there, obtain the government's sanction to their
reporting to Colonel Talbot as indeed all in the district did
instead of to the government at York, and collect from each
settler a fee of $100 to cover patent fees and for his own trouble.

This latter part of his programme neither commended itself to
Colonel Talbot nor to the government at York, and the Colonel
notified the settlers that their grants would not be withheld to
further Watson's pecuniary demands an action which the gov-
ernment promptly ratified. " His Excellency desires me to say,"
wrote his secretary, " he approves entirely of what you have done
and requests you will continue rigidly to enforce his orders as
contained in your letters." Taken literally this language seems
to imply that Colonel Talbot both issued and enforced the orders
and was de facto governor within the settlement.


Thereupon Simon Zelotes, accompanied by two friends, Bird
and Brig-ham of Delaware, called at Port Talbot and bearded the
lion in his den.

" How dare you go among- my settlers and desire them not to
pay me my demands on them of $100?" he exclaimed to the
Colonel. " I'll take out a warrant and compel you to pay me
$100 for every person who refuses to pay me that sum in conse-
quence of your advice. Neither governor, government nor any
individual has a right to interfere with my private contracts. The
lands were assigned me to settle and I'll show the world that I
will make such bargains as I see fit, regardless of consequences
and any honest jury will support me ! "

He waxed so warm that the Colonel ordered him out of the

McMillan, a settler who had been several years on his lot, came
the same day and paid his government fees to Talbot. Watson
heard of it and was wroth. He memorialized the government.
He wrote the Colonel threatening him with exposure offering
him at the same time the hand of friendship, " from a retro-
spective view," as he put it, " of your hospitality and friendship
to me when I was a stranger in the province " hinted at a prior
mutual agreement to promote settlement by bringing in loyal and
industrious settlers and wound up by a somewhat obscure
challenge to mortal combat, should his overtures be spurned.

Talbot refused any retraction or satisfaction, " for believe me,"
he added, " I value my life too highly to hazard it in your
speculations. Should you further intrude yourself personally upon
me with threats, I will employ the constable to deliver the
necessary reply " and the executive council at York six weeks
later ordered measures to be taken to bind Mr. Watson, with
sureties, to keep the peace towards the Colonel. So Simon
Zelotes lost both the money he hoped to collect from the settlers
and the satisfaction he considered his due from Colonel Talbot.

Yet a few weeks before this, Mr. Selby, writing to Colonel
Talbot from York, added the following postscript to his letter :
"John McDonell and Dr. Baldwin crossed the ice this morning to


the Point and amused themselves with a brace of pistols, but no
harm was done. Some expression in court was the cause."

If two leading lawyers one the attorney-general and the
other head of the new Law Society of the province could adjourn
from the court room to the island to settle their little differences,
or finish their legal arguments, with pistols ; why should the
government have denied poor Simon Zelotes Watson the right to
exchange shots with Colonel Talbot ? Apparently not altogether
on legal grounds was it done.

Watson appears to have been either an arrant scoundrel by
disposition or to have become such by stress of the circumstances
in which he found himself now involved. He harrassed Governor
Gore and his council with petitions and lengthy interviews, and
seemed at times to impress the governor favourably, while at
other times he was "that rascal Watson." Talbot's firm hand
evidently guided the ship of state in this instance.

" I am much gratified to find that our proceedings meet with
your approbation," wrote the genial governor to him, referring to
his government's disposition of Watson's memorial, " As your
friend, the chief, says ' we mean to do well.' " The chief referred
to was Chief Justice Scott, chairman of the executive council, and
an intimate friend of Colonel Talbot's.

If the governor was at times imposed upon by Watson, others
do not seem to have been similarly impressed.

" I regret very much the conduct of my friend Zelotes," wrote
Major Halton, the governor's secretary. " He seems to be rather
more attached to the concerns of this world than the original
person from whom he took his name" while Lieut. -Colonel
Nichol wrote also to Talbot concerning him : " The governor
says you are in part mistaken in Watson's business and that he is
still to have the recommending and settling of the Lower Canada
settlers. By the bye, he is a most infamous rascal. He repre-
presented you at York as concerned with him in the speculation
and dwelt much on a letter which he had induced you to write to
him which of course was merely to show that he was not an

Watson appears from the correspondence to have been a


surveyor. He will be heard of presently again, under changed

Not only had Colonel Talbot much influence with both the
British government and the government of the province, about
this time, but he was on terms of intimate friendship with the
governor as indeed has already appeared Francis Gore and his
wife and staff. The governor was, at this time, becoming
contemptuous of his House of Assembly which contained his
opponents, Judge Thorpe and Wilcocks.

" I am sorry to say the rascals have given nothing towards the
culture of hemp," he wrote to Colonel Talbot, who had intended
embarking largely in hemp culture in his new settlement, "but
have appropriated ^3,500 for roads and ^400 for printing the
Laws. The latter sum is waste," he naively adds. He was
about to pay a visit to England for the benefit of his wife's
health. " When I am gone," the genial governor charged
Talbot, "for God's sake look occasionally upon the chief, and
take care of the surveyor-general and clerk of the council." Mrs.
Gore, he adds, would not permit him to say all "the pretty
things " to the bachelor of Port Talbot which the latter's
"prettier deeds towards her" deserved, but would write him

Before Christmas of 18 1 1 Governor Gore and Mrs. Gore were
in England and Colonel Brock was left as administrator of the
government of the province. The legislature had meantime made
two appropriations for the purchase of hemp, of which Colonel
Talbot had a quantity in store.

But now the clouds began to darken for an impending storm.

" We are making fortifications at all the posts and building
armed ships on both the lakes as if war was expected," wrote
Selby to Colonel Talbot in April, " but my own opinion is that all
Jonathan's blustering will end in nothing of that sort."

Meanwhile lists of commissions were forwarded to the Colonel
for his ist Middlesex regiment.

" The Duke of Northumberland writes Selby that strong
reinforcements are ordered for this country," Brock informs


Talbot ; "the public papers mention the same thing", but I hear
nothing- officially."

At length the storm bursts, and Lieut. -Colonel Nichol on
"June 28th, 1812, 12 p. m.," sends a despatch to Major Salmon
of the 2nd Norfolk militia, at Woodhouse, to be forwarded, after
being 1 shown to Lieut. -Colonel Ryerson, to Colonel Talbot, by
express, as follows :

" DEAR SALMON : We have at last the printed intelligence of the
Declaration of War and are now at work throwing up batteries to attack
Fort Niagara. Our fire will commence to-morrow morning early and I hope
that before dinner time we shall give a good account of it. Exert yourself
therefore to carry into effect the General's intentions for your assistance may
be required on very short notice."

Enclosed was an extract from a g-eneral order of the same date
appointing Colonel Talbot to the command of the militia in the
London district and requiring 1 him to be " pointed in his directions
to the militia of Oxford and Middlesex."



EVENTS marched rapidly all around the borders of the Talbot
Settlement and adjacent parts in the summer of 1812.

General Hull with his army crossed the Detroit River, occupied
Sandwich and issued a bombastic pro-
clamation to the inhabitants of Canada
on July 1 2th. Five days later Captain
Roberts, having with his small force of
regulars and Canadians scaled the heights
overlooking Fort Michillimackinac, ob-
tained its surrender as readily and with
like freedom from loss as did his nephew,
Lord Roberts, occupy Pretoria nearly
eighty-eight years later.

Hull's now celebrated proclamation
to which Brock replied in a spirited
address on the 2oth had some effect,
chiefly upon the western border, where
the French and American settlers were
connected by family and other ties with
those across the river, while their pro-
perty was at the mercy of the invaders.

Traitors there were who were anxious to lead parties into the
interior. Among those who had found their way into the enemy's
lines were Andrew Westbrook of Delaware township who it was
afterwards claimed was an American citizen by birth and Mr.
Simon Zelotes Watson. General Hull was naturally very
suspicious of them, but both were subsequently employed, though

North Block House, B
Blanc Island


Westbrook's recorded expeditions were of a later date than
Watson's, who had speedily ingratiated himself, to judge from
the following- extract from General Brock's despatch to Sir George
Prevost of the 26th July, 1812 :

" The enemy's cavalry amounts to about 50. They are led by one Watson,
a surveyor of Montreal, of a desperate character. This fellow has been
allowed to parade with about 20 men of the same description as far as West-
minster, vowing as they went along- the most bitter vengeance against th,e
first characters of the province."

Woe betide Colonel Talbot had this force fallen in with him,
unprepared, on their way to the scene of Watson's unsuccessful
efforts of a year before ! It was perhaps fortunate for the Colonel
and his loyal settlers that General Hull, with an army of 2,300 or
2,500, was so weak in cavalry.

Westbrook,* there is reason for believing, accompanied this
first expedition, though Watson would appear to have been the
leader. Captain Daniel Springer, of Delaware, a former
neighbour of theirs, reported in September to Colonel Talbot
that he had found persons in Detroit of respectability willing to
depose that Westbrook requested 50 men from General Hull to
return back to Delaware and take his property, and that Simon
Z. Watson was to be one of the number. Hull doubted his
integrity, asked of those acquainted with him what kind of a man
he was whether or not he could be trusted. He was in Detroit
at the time of the capitulation. No magistrate having been
appointed to take the depositions as to these facts, Captain
Springer obtained Colonel Nichol's promise to take and forward
them to Niagara. These probably formed part of the evidence on
which Westbrook's outlawry and the forfeiture of his property
were subsequently based.

Westbrook had in 1814 the satisfaction of accompanying-

* Major John Richardson, the author of a History of the Right Division
in the War of 1812 (in which he was a participant and taken prisoner
at Moraviantown), "Wacousta," the "Canadian Brothers," etc., wrote a
book entitled " Westbrook the Outlaw." Believing it based upon, if not a
history of, the life of Andrew Westbrook, the present writer has searched in
the parliamentary library at Ottawa, the British museum, where a number of
Richardson's other works are preserved, as well as other libraries, for a copy
of the book in question, but so far without success.


another detachment to Delaware, destroying his own house, after
the removal of his family, and carrying off as prisoners Captain
Springer and Mr. Brigham, as well as Colonel Baby, as we shall
see later on.

July was an anxious month for General Brock. He was given
to understand that Hull's proclamation had produced a consider-
able effect on the minds of the people and that a general senti-
ment prevailed that, with the present force, resistence would be
unavailing. The militia were reported supine, officers inefficient.
He despatched Colonel Proctor to Amherstburg, where Colonel
St. George was in command of 200 of the 4ist regiment, a weak
detachment of Royal Newfoundland Fencibles, a subaltern's com-
mand of artillery, with the Kent and Essex militia regiments
reduced to less than 500 men. Brock would have gone himself,
but had to wait to meet the legislature on the 27th. The raids
up the Thames continued and he despatched Captain Chambers
with about 50 of the 4ist regiment to Moraviantown, directing
200 militia to join him there. The Indians on the Grand River,
it was said, with the exception of about 50, decided to remain
neutral and refused to join Chambers' detachment. This news
ruined Brock's plan for a diversion westward with the militia, for
the time being.

The Hon. James Baby on his way from Sandwich to the meeting
of the legislature coasted the lake to Colonel Talbot's settlement,
meeting Colonel Proctor, weather bound, about six or seven miles
above Port Talbot. Baby arrived at Dundas street at a point
thirty miles from York on the evening of the 27th, and sent on a
letter reporting that the Long Point volunteers had refused to
march with Chambers and it was feared those of Oxford would
follow their example. He had parted from Colonel Talbot, then
on his way to Burford, the evening before. There was a want
of balls for the Indians, whom the Hurons had done all they could
to dissuade from joining the British. There were but 230 Indians
with the British at Amherstburg. The militia had become reduced
to between three and four hundred, through the withdrawal of
many to the harvest fields.

Brock, who was on the verge of despair, but showed no sign of


faltering, met the legislature and delivered a stirring address to
them. The House of Assembly, however, refused to repeal the
Habeas Corpus Act, and the reinforcements he had repeatedly
applied for failed to come.

" My situation is getting each day more critical," he wrote the
commander-in-chief on the 28th, " I still mean to try and send a
force to the relief of Amherstburg, but almost despair of succeed-
ing." He sent a copy of his speech, of which, however, he
seemed to think little good would come. " I implore your
Excellency's advice," wrote this brave man in his hour of need to
Sir George Prevost an infinitely weaker man.

The next day the news of the fall of Michillimackinac came, yet
before the news arrived the militia at York had volunteered
without the least hesitation their services to any part of the
province the result apparently of Brock's inspiring appeal and
his self depreciated efforts and example.

Brock's spirit now rose to a height to bear down all opposition.
He had closed his address at the opening of the session with the
words :

"We are engaged in an awful and eventful contest. By unanimity and
despatch in our councils and by vigour in our operations, we may teach our
enemy this lesson, that a country defended by free men, enthusiastically
devoted to the cause of their King and constitution, cannot be conquered."

Having in vain waited for eight days for some manifestation of
the required " unanimity and despatch," the President now sub-
mitted a spirited minute to his executive council and prorogued
the legislature on August 5th though not before they, fired at
length by his spirit, had passed an address to the people couched
in language most patriotic and inspiring.

The immediate effect was that Hull and his army retreated
across the Detroit River, leaving only 250 men, who also retreated
before Brock arrived on the scene.

Brock now made up for lost time in July, by proceeding with
the utmost despatch to Long Point, accompanied by a detachment
of York and Lincoln volunteers, with Messieurs Hatt, Heward and
John Beverly Robinson (subsequently Chief Justice) as officers,
and his provincial aide-de-camp, Attorney-General Macdonell.


Macdonell had, with the warm impulsiveness of his race, attached
himself to the president's staff, transforming" himself with alacrity
from attorney-g-eneral to aide, in which latter capacity he con-
ducted the subsequent negotiations with General Hull at Detroit,
with ability and discretion. He accompanied the General through-
out the campaign until they both fell gloriously at Queenston,
where their mortal remains have since reposed together under a
noble monument, placed on an incomparably beautiful site by a
grateful people.

At Port Dover the General met the loyal Norfolk militia,
previously formed into two flank companies, commanded by
Colonel Nichol, whose despatch announcing the commencement of
hostilities to Major Salmon and Colonel Talbot, has been quoted.
Colonel Nichol subsequently lost his property here at Dover to the
value of 5,000 at the hands of the enemy, and his life, after the
war, by falling from the cliff at Queenston, while superintending the
erection of the monument just referred to, to the memory of his
friend and patron, Brock, who had meantime made him his
quartermaster-general. Major Salmon,* Captain John Bost-
wick (his brother-in-law), Lieutenant George Ryerson (son of the
veteran U. E. loyalist, Colonel Joseph Ryerson), Lieutenant Titus
Williams and others joined Brock's force, regardless of harvesting
and other duties, save the defence of their country.

Colonel Talbot, too, was at hand and had evidently not been
neglectful of his duty of mustering the forces of the sparsely
inhabited district placed under his command, as will appear from
the following letter written by Attorney-General Macdonell, from
Port Talbot, August loth :

" We left Dover on the 8th between 3 and 4 o'clock p. m. and got to this
place about six this morning, when the wind blew so strong upon the shore
that we found it would be quite impracticable to weather the point about
thirty miles ahead, and between which and this place there is no possibility
of landing, so we were forced to beach and haul our boats into a fine creek,
where, from present appearances it is probable they will remain till to-morrow
morning and how much longer I cannot say. It has rained almost con-

*Major Salmon commanded the detachments of the ist and 2nd Norfolks
5th Lincoln and York regiments, during this expedition.


stantly since we encamped last night, and, although the men have been
completely drenched, they continue in excellent spirits and behave in the
most orderly and obedient manner. Peter Robinson, with his riflemen,
joined us about twelve o'clock to-day, and our fleet now consists of twelve
sail of all kinds, in one of which is a six-pounder (dismounted) with ammuni-
tion, etc. The want of boats obliged the General to send a detachment of
the Oxford and Norfolk militia in a small vessel which happened to be at
Dover, which must have reached Amherstburg this morning.

Upon our arrival at Dover it was said that a sufficient number of boats to
embark the whole of the force assembled there had been got ready, but upon
examination we found that hardly one was in a state for service, and it was
not till about four o'clock next day, with every exertion, that we got ten
boats under way. Many of these are in so bad x state that we are constantly
delayed and detained by them, and will no doubt prevent our arriving so soon
as we otherwise would. Had there been boats enough we probably would
have had with us about 100 men more than we have. Our force at present,
including the men sent in the vessel, will be upwards of 350, besides twenty
Indians under Cadotte, who has fallen behind. There will be sixty men of
the 4ist sent from Fort Erie, which will, I trust, be found sufficient reinforce-
ments to the garrison of Amherstburg to enable us to effect the desired object.

I am sorry to say that poor Chambers was taken so ill just as we were
about to embark, that Mr. Rolph thought it necessary to detain him. Robin-
son, however, says that Colonel Talbot and he were to leave Rolph's
yesterday morning, so that we look out for him every moment. Such a
disappointment to him would be most distressing I mean being left behind.
I hope he may arrive, not only on his account, but for the good of the service,
which I think would materially suffer from his absence. Every one else

perfectly well Chambers, I am glad to tell you, has arrived,

apparently perfectly recovered but from his fear of being left behind, which
I_believe gave him more uneasiness than all his other complaints."

From this it would appear that Colonel Talbot had collected a
considerable number more men than transportation could be
obtained for and that the reinforcements were, with the exception
of the 60 men of the 4ist regiment from Fort Erie and the twenty
Indians, composed entirely of militia. Peter Robinson was the
brother of John Beverly, afterwards Sir John Beverly Robinson.
Captain Chambers has been referred to before. He was an officer
of the regulars and he and Colonel Talbot would appear to have
remained over, presumably under the hospitable roof of Dr.
Thomas Rolph, father of Dr. John Rolph.

At Amherstburg Brock and the brave Tecumseh met, each
being most favourably impressed with the other at this their first


meeting". They were of one mind as to the advisability of taking
the offensive and attacking Detroit.

Bostwick and Ryerson's company of militia, which had arrived
in advance of the General, had been employed in constructing a
masked battery behind some large trees on the river bank
opposite Detroit, under the direction of Captain Dixon of the
Royal Engineers. They worked only when the shades of night
had fallen and by the time Brock arrived the battery was in
readiness, while the enemy across the river were ignorant of its
existence. During the night, previous to the crossing of the
British, the trees were cut down. The crossing was effected
some two miles below the militia company referred to being with
the force. The guns on the Canadian side opened fire to the
great surprise of the enemy, while Brock's little army of scarce
700 men quietly breakfasted, in concealed positions, preparatory
to the expected assault upon the fort into which British shot and
shell were now being poured from across the river.

While General Hull was holding a council of war to decide upon
an answer to General Brock's demand for the surrender of the
fort, a shell from the battery opposite fell into the fort carrying
death to several. Four officers are said to have been killed,
Lieutenant Hancks, who surrendered Michilimackinac to Captain
Roberts, and Surgeon Reynolds of the Ohio volunteers, among
the number. These were the only persons killed during the
action. This brought the council to an abrupt close and the
General to a prompt decision. Some accounts are silent as to
any deaths resulting from the shell fire and state that Hull con-
sulted no one as to the surrender. A flag of truce was, however,
despatched, proposing a cessation of hostilities with a view to a
capitulation, which was speedily arranged by Lieut. -Colonel
Macdonell and Captain Glegg, General Brock's aides for the
British and the gallant flank companies of militia in homespun
and buckskin, but with joyous hearts and countenances, entered
the fort and took charge of the prisoners.

The net result cannot be summed up more succinctly than in
the words of Major-General Brock's despatch of the same day
(i6th August, 1812,) to Sir George Prevost :


" I hasten to apprise your Excellency of the capture of this very important
post. Two thousand five hundred troops have this day surrendered, prisoners
of war, and about 25 pieces of ordnance have been taken without the
sacrifice of a drop of British blood. I had not more than 700 troops, includ-
ing- militia and about 400 Indians, to accomplish this service. When I detail
my good fortune your Excellency will be astonished. I have baen admirably
supported by Colonel Proctor, the whole of my staff, and I may justly say
every individual under my command."

By a general order the Major-General also acknowledged the
services of the militia officers and men, his staff officers and the
Indians, whose conduct was most exemplary, in the following terms:

" The Major-General cannot forego this opportunity of expressing- his
admiration at the conduct of the several companies of militia, who so hand-
somely volunteered to undergo the fatig-ues of a journey of several hundred
miles to go to the rescue of an invaded district ; and he requests Major
Salmon, Captains Heward, Bostwick and Robinson, will assure the officers
and men under their respective command that their services have been duly
appreciated and will never be forgotten. The Major-General is happy to
acknowledge the able assistance he has derived from the zeal and local
information of Lieut. -Colonel Nichol, acting quartermaster-general to the

To tiis personal staff the Major-General feels himself under much obligation,
and he requests Lieut. -Colonel Macdonell, Majors Glegg and Givens will be
assured that their zealous exertions have made too deep an impression on his
mind ever to be forgotten.

The conduct of the Indians under Colonel Elliott, Captain McKee and
other officers of that department, joined to that of the gallant and brave
chiefs of their respective tribes has since the commencement of the war been
marked with acts of true heroism, and in nothing can they testify more
strongly their love to the King, their great father, than in following the
dictates of honour and humanity, by which they have been hitherto actuated.
Two fortifications have already been captured from the enemy without a drop
of blood being shed by the hands of the Indians ; the instant the enemy
submitted his life became saved."

By order of the General, Captain Bostwick and his brother-in-
law, Lieutenant Ryerson, were mounted on the fleetest horses to
be had from those captured, and set out with despatches to
Colonel Talbot at Port Talbotand to General Vincent at Burlington
Heights. One of them travelled two days and two nights, the
other two nights and three days, without sleep, to accomplish this
as promptly as possible.



COLONEL PROCTOR was now left in command of the right division

and had charge of Detroit and Michigan. On the 22nd January,

1813, he met and defeated General Winchester, then advancing

upon Detroit, at the River Raisin, and

f^^,^ took the American commander and some

JU Ik--* ^ ve hundred of his force prisoners, most

M v i W \ of the remainder being slain. For this

decisive victory Proctor was advanced
to the rank of brigadier-general.

He, however, soon found his position
by no means an enviable one, occupying,
as he did, in part a hostile territory with
a ridiculously small force. He decided
probably with wisdom not to arm the
conquered inhabitants, and was con-
stantly haunted by fears of the defection,
under stress of want of supplies and want
of success, of his Indian allies. Though
bearing testimony to their courage he
distrusted their steadfastness which,
however, so far as Tecumseh and his fol-
lowers were concerned, he was soon to see

The spring and summer of 1813 were spent by the American
General Harrison in gathering together a large force at the
Miami River and by General Proctor in unavailing requests for
reinforcements and supplies, and in completing a ship, which,

s of Flagstaff of old
Ft. Maiden


however, he had no sailors to man. In the latter part of April
Proctor crossed the lake and on May ist began an attack upon
the enemy's entrenchments. An unsuccessful sally by the enemy
on the 5th May resulted in a loss to General Harrison of some
1,200 men, in killed and prisoners. As usual the Indian allies
under Tecumseh contributed largely to the British success. Two
further attempts to dislodge the enemy or draw him into battle
were made in July and August the latter ending in a precipitate
retreat of Proctor from the point of attack. It is not to be
wondered at that he achieved no greater success in these attempts,
when it is considered that Harrison had almost as many thousands
as he had hundreds.

Both commanders now awaited the settlement of the question
of the naval supremacy on Lake Erie, and that question was
settled on loth September. Despairing of the arrival of expected
blue jackets, Captain Barclay set sail with his fleet of six sail and
63 guns (with but 60 experienced men out of the whole number on
board), which were captured and in part destroyed by the American
fleet of nine sail and 59 guns, under Captain Perry, after a desperate
battle of some four hours' duration near Put-in-Bay. A change
of wind an important matter in those days is said to have
changed victory into defeat. Captain Barclay's only remaining
arm for he had lost the other at the battle of Trafalgar, fighting
under Nelson was rendered useless and he himself was a prisoner.
Captain Finnis, the officer second in command, was killed.
Indeed, all Barclay's officers and three-fourths of his men were
either killed or wounded. Sir James Yeo afterwards reported
to the commander-in-chief, " His Majesty's squadron was deficient
in seamen and in weight of metal and particularly long guns ; yet
the greater misfortune was the loss of every officer, particularly
Captain Finnis, whose life, had it been spared, would, in my
opinion, have saved the squadron."

Retreat up the Thames was now decided on by Proctor as his
only alternative cut off as he would now speedily be from all
sources of supply and reinforcement. Tecumseh protested in a
speech of much power, irony and pathos for the great Shawnee
chief was an orator as well as a warrior. A large boulder from



which he was wont, it is said, to address his followers, is still
pointed out in the grounds of Mr. Simon Fraser in Amherstburg.
Captain Glegg, Brock's aide, wrote of Tecumseh as he appeared
when the latter first met the Chief.

" His appearance was very prepossessing-,
his figure light and finely formed, his age, I
imagine, to be about five and thirty ; in
height, five feet nine or ten inches ; his com-
plexion, light copper ; countenance oval, with
bright hazel eyes, beaming with cheerfulness,
energy and decision. Three small silver
crowns or coronets were suspended from the
lower cartileg-e of his aquiline nose, and a
large silver medallion of George III., which
I believe his ancestor had received from Lord
Dorchester, was attached to a mixed coloured
wampum string-, and hung round his neck.
His dress consisted of a plain, neat uniform
trimmed deerskin jacket, with long trousers
of the same material, the seams of both being

covered with neatly cut fringe. He had on

Tecumseh's Stone
his feet leather moccasins, ornamented with

work made from dyed quills of porcupine."

Such in appearance was the chieftain who now pointed his
irony at Proctor and taunted him with want of courage, declaring
his own wish and that of his braves to be, to remain and fight the
enemy should he appear, when, if defeated, he would then join
in the proposed retreat.

"Father!" he finally cried, "you have got the arms and
ammunition which our great father sent for his red children. If
you intend to retreat give them to us and you may go, and
welcome for us. Our lives are in the hands of the great Spirit.
We are determined to defend our lands, and if it be His will, we
wish to leave our bones upon them."*

There was not much in this to indicate that the friendship of
the red men was dependent upon success. In the face of defeat

*This speech, according to Major Richardson, who was then with Proctor's
division, was delivered in the council room where officers and chiefs were


Tecumseh wished to stay and fight it out. Yet the noble Shawnee
chief and his followers, to a number which varying reports place
at from 500 to 1,200, were constrained to follow and cover the
retreat of their "father," Proctor, up the Thames.

Notwithstanding- Tecumseh's vehement protests, there is no
doubt that a retreat and junction with the centre division at
Burlington was now the only course open to Proctor, if his force
was not to be annihilated. The fleet was in the enemy's hands,
his supplies scanty, and his communications threatened. All hope
of reinforcements was gone. The enemy's superiority in numbers
was overwhelming. General de Rottenburg, on whom the chief
command in this province had but just devolved, had, as a matter
of fact, at last come to the conclusion that the right and centre
divisions should be brought together.

Colonel Talbot was able at this juncture to so far meet the
necessities of Proctor as to provisions, as to send him 150 barrels
of flour, which, however, arrived safely at Amherstburg only the
day before the troops were moved to Sandwich. Colonel Talbot
asked in return for boats for transport service, a request which
subsequent events prevented Proctor complying with. In the
following letter to Colonel Talbot, Proctor -outlined his position
and plans for the retreat and gave a somewhat pathetic picture of
his situation and the disposition of his family :

SANDWICH, September 23, 1813.

I have to thank you for your letter by Captain Blackhouse*. As our ill-
fated fleet has certainly been all taken or destroyed, it would be almost
certain loss of any boats to send them to you by the lakes ; though the 150
barrels of flour you sent by Mr. Smith have fortunately arrived safe at
Amherstburg. It boats can be sent you from the Thames it shall be done. I
hope Sir James Yeo may be able to effect something to counterbalance our
disaster on this lake. He was at anchor on the i6th inst. in the Bay of
Quinte. He was to sail next morning to meet the enemy. You are aware
that I cannot remain in my present position without the risk of being cut off
from supplies. I have with much difficulty brought the principal part of the
Indians to reason. I have much to say to you, but I am much pressed for
time, and Captain Blackhouse is very desirous of being off. The state of the
roads and bridges are a primary consideration at present, especially those

*No doubt Backhouse of Long Point settlement was here referred to.


through the wilderness. I conceive that a couple of good huts, two rooms in
each, should be constructed in the wilderness, also cover for a few horses at
the 14-mile trees, where there is a creek of tolerable good water. If you will
cause it to be done I shall sanction the expense, and the public and I will be
much obliged to you. Many would be glad of such a situation to keep a
house of accommodation. The bridges are bad, some of them on this side of
the wilderness, and also between Delaware and Dorchester. Our principal
depot of wheat should be, I conceive, at Delaware. I shall direct accord-
ingly, if you see no reason to the contrary. Pray, let me often hear from
you. I shall feel obliged to you for any suggestions you may favour me with
for the forwarding the service or the public good. My sick are on the
Thames, as are my women. I have also removed the little heavy ordnance I
have left. It was taken on board the unfortunate Detroit. Poor Barclay !
I have sent Mrs. Proctor off and fear she will have much to encounter. My
eldest daughter was ill, and but little recovered when she set off, three days
since. What a sudden, what a complete reverse ! If poor Barclay and I had
been attended to, our reverse would not have happened. Believe me, with
much esteem and regard. Faithfully yours,


The request made for two-roomed huts at the wilderness and
the suggestion as to a wheat depot at Delaware seem to indicate
that Proctor intended making a stand of some duration in the
neighborhood of Moraviantown.

The events which succeeded Proctor's determination to retreat
can be best understood by reference to the accounts given by
himself in his detailed reports made afterwards.

On the 24th September he concentrated his forces at Sandwich,
having previously sent off to the Thames his remaining ordnance
and stores of every description for which transport could be found
and destroyed the small portion that remained, as well as the
public buildings, etc., etc., at Amherstburg. On the 26th the
enemy appeared in the offing, sounding in every direction, and on
the 2yth* landed nine miles below Amherstburg in considerable
force. On the same evening the public buildings at Detroit were

*Mr. C. C. James, Deputy-Minister of Agriculture, in an interesting
pamphlet cites dispatches of Harrison and Perry as proving that the U. S.
army marched into Amherstburg between 4 and 5 o'clock p. m. on 23rd Sep-
ten.Ler. Dates in text are as given by Proctor subsequent ly. Mr. James
also presents data to show that the fort was first named Fort Amherstburg
and the town and township Maiden, and not until after 1826 were the names
of fort and town interchanged.


destroyed and Proctor commenced his retreat and by easy marches
arrived on the 2gth at the river Thames. A considerable number
of Indians remained behind, but not, Proctor thought, from want
of attachment to the British. He had abandoned all idea of
occupying" the narrows of the St. Clair River to prevent the
enemy's vessels passing into Lake Huron. He at first determined
to make a stand at Dover, where he had had ovens constructed,
three miles below the forks at Chatham a measure necessary to
protect the craft laden with stores which had ascended the river
as far as navigation allowed. While he was reconnoitering in the
rear, the troops were moved to the forks. This was apparently
contrary to the wishes of both the General and the Indians one
of the unfortunate consequences of the former's continued
absences, reconnoitering the country beyond. The Indians there-
upon, in the absence a second time of the General on an inspection
ot the country in the rear, retreated to Moraviantown, while the
troops under Lieut.-Colonel Warburton the General found on his
return already retiring to the same point, with vessels and stores
left behind, which had therefore to be destroyed. One of these
vessels has been recently raised after having lain nearly 90 years
under water. In the attempt to save provisions and ammunition
the force became encumbered with boats not suited to the state of
navigation. The Indians and troops retreated on different sides
of the river, and the boats, to which sufficient attention had not
been given, became particularly exposed to the fire of the enemy,
who were advancing on the side on which the Indians were
retiring, and most unfortunately fell into the possession of the
enemy, and with them several of the men, provisions, and all the
ammunition that had been issued to the troops and Indians. This
disastrous circumstance afforded the enemy the means of crossing
and advancing on both sides of the river. The want of ammuni-
tion was unknown to the men and to but few of the officers.

Finding the enemy approached too near the General determined,
he said, to meet and give him battle in a wood below the
Moraviantown, as he (the enemy) was in considerable force, and
particularly strong in mounted infantry and cavalry. The posi-
tion Proctor had taken he also conceived to be favourable, as it


reduced the enemy to a small front, while it secured his own
flanks, his right being on an impenetrable swamp and his left on
the river. The 4ist regiment occupied the space between the
river and the Indians, who were on the right with their right
thrown up. The troops had a reserve and marksmen near the
six-pounder on the road, for its further security. It was under
the direction of Lieutenant Gardner of the 4ist, who on a former
occasion had been found very useful when attached to the
artillery. The gun, when taken, was " loaded with canister and
a sphente case shot, laid and the port fire light " the gun did not
fire a shot. A plan of co-operation was cordially established with
the Indians, who were to turn the left of the enemy and executed
their part faithfully and courageously. " If the troops had
acted," wrote the General, " as I have ever seen them, and as I
confidently expected, I am still of opinion, notwithstanding their
numerical superiority, the enemy would have been beaten. All
ranks of officers exerted themselves to rally the men though
ineffectually. Though retreating was furthest from my thoughts, I
had caused as far as time and circumstances would admit every
impediment to a retreat to be removed and had also placed the
field ordnance under the orders of Lieutenant Thornton of the
Royal Artillery, so as to defend an important point by which the
Indians had retreated to us and also to cover the retreat of the
troops, whilst order was retained by them. The Indians, after
the troops were broken, retired through the woods, and brought
with them those who escaped in that direction. On the evening
of the 5th of October, provision was made for the feeding of the
Indians and troops who should arrive at Delaware ; the com-
missariat were also stationed on the route to Ancaster for the same
purpose, as well as parties of dragoons to aid and assist those
who had effected their retreat. I proceeded to the Grand River,
and endeavoured to prevent individuals proceeding who might
create false alarms, and immediately communicated with the
officers in command at Long Point, Burlington and General
Vincent commanding the centre division."

The foregoing account, which is in the main that of Proctor
himself, was not supported by the statements of his officers nor


that of Major Richardson, then a young volunteer accompanying
the force, in his history. It was charged that the General left the
officer second in command (Warburton) of the troops in the dark
as to his intentions and without proper orders, the enemy being
close at hand, while he went on long distances in advance some
26 miles towards the last and that so great was the dissatisfac-
tion at Proctor's conduct in this regard that a council of war to
deprive him of his command was talked of and Lieut. -Colonel
Warburton was censured for not assuming the command ; that
his account of the action itself was incorrect in several respects ;
that his object in selecting the battle ground in the wood was to
cover the departure of his family and personal effects from
Moraviantown ; that the infantry made as determined a stand as
was possible under the circumstances and considering their lack
of ammunition ; that there was not a single round of ammunition
for the gun and that the other guns were misplaced and finally
that the General having taken his position in rear of the second
line, mounted and fled as soon as the first line retreated and the
second opened fire, accompanied by his staff.

It is claimed by some that Proctor began his flight in a carriage
which he was forced to abandon, and that his carriage, together
with a hat, a sword, and Mrs. Proctor's letters to him, fell into
the hands of an American officer named Sholes, who drove back
to Detroit in the carriage. It is possible that this carriage had
conveyed the members of his family as far as Moraviantown, but
was abandoned before the wilderness beyond was entered.

In spite of Proctor's efforts to prevent the spread of unofficial
accounts of the disaster, Staff Adjutant Reifenstein, in defiance of
his orders, proceeded forthwith to York, where he regaled a large
dinner party with an account of the affair, and proceeded eastward
spreading reports disparaging to his general.

According to General Harrison's report he had above 3,000 men
at his disposal in the battle of whom seven were killed and 22
wounded, five of the latter dying subsequently of their wounds.
According to Lieut. Bullock of the 4tst, the senior and only
officer of the regiment who escaped, the British force consisted of
the ist battalion of that regiment, 367 of all ranks, 18 or 20 men


of the loth Veterans, some artillery and 800 Indians about 1,200
in all. Of the troops 12 were killed, 36 wounded and the greater
number of the remainder taken prisoners. Of the Indians 33
were slain, including" the gallant Tecumseh distinguished alike
for his bravery and humanity, his eloquence, and his influence over
the Indian tribes. The story of his secret burial place has found
wide credence since, but there is but too much reason to believe
that the story of the mutilation of his remains by the Kentuckian
militia after the battle in a most inhuman way is in accordance
with the facts.

General de Rottenburg considered Proctor's first report
" unsatisfactory and subject to further explanations." Sir George
Prevost, whose dilatory methods and neglect of Proctor's demands
for relief led to the series of disasters of which this was the
culmination, issued a general order of unparalelled severity
regarding the unfortunate General, and a court martial was after-
wards held, by which Proctor was adjudged to be publicly
reprimanded and suspended from rank and pay for six months.
All the findings of the court martial were subsequently set aside
by the Prince Regent, except that as to the ground chosen to
meet the enemy, which the highest military authority decided
should have been the heights above the Moravian village to
which the ordnance, with the exception of the six-pounder, had
been removed. The sentence was changed to one of reprimand

Tecumseh, whose death Proctor reported " with deep concern "
is the one name which shines out brightly from this gloomy page.
He did his part and fell in the doing of it. Who can say that the
General did not live to envy him his fate ? The one died and his
remains disappeared from mortal eyes forever and yet even the
manner of his death added to that fame, which has endured and
will endure for generations. The other lived and suffered
anguish one cannot read his pleading, though not unmanly
words, without believing more poignant perhaps to him than
death. The one received laudations and his son a sword from the
Prince Regent the other a reprimand from the same authority,
which posterity has since approved.



WHAT, it may be asked, was Colonel Talbot about, while the
memorable events narrated in the two previous chapters were
transpiring all around the confines of his settlement ?

It will be remembered that he was appointed to command the
militia of the London district. He at once on receiving the com-
mission set about his duties. He was in the Long Point country
when Brock's force left for Amherstburg in the summer of 1812.
We have seen that boats were not available to transport more
than one-half the men who had been collected at Port Dover, and
that Colonel Talbot and Captain Chambers of the 4ist caught up
to the main body at Port Talbot on August loth.

Dr. Thomas Rolph's, where Chambers had been detained by
illness, was in those days an attractive household for young
bachelors. Mrs. Amelia Harris, in her memoirs, indeed suggests
that the pleasure of an extra day and dinner there, in company
with the pretty widow of an officer of rank, whom Captain
Barclay had gallantly escorted in his ship from Amherstburg, on
her way to York, was too great for even that gallant officer to
withstand, and that he thus afforded the Americans the needed
opportunity to get their new fleet out of Erie harbour and that
thus the whole of the disasters of the upper part of the province
lay at his door. In short, the daughters of the Rolph household
were accomplished and attractive young ladies. Colonel Talbot's
brother William, who was visiting Port Talbot in 1811, was
credited at Government House, in York, with aspiring for the
hand of one of them. " Should your brother," wrote Major
Halton to the Colonel in March of that year, "marry into the


honourable family of the Rolphs " the newly appointed surrogate
would, he intimated, be displaced to make room for him, if
Colonel Talbot so desired. John Rolph, the son of Dr. Thomas
Rolph, became a closer neighbour to Colonel Talbot subsequently,
as we shall see, but never became allied to him by marriage.

Colonel Talbot's home at Port Talbot was the half-way house
between the Niagara and Long Point settlements in the east, and
Amherstburg and Sandwich in the west for those travelling by
the lake especially and to some extent a base of supplies for the
latter posts. As may be supposed supplies were not too plentiful
in the new and sparsely settled community. The settlers were
still battling with the forest, and when the men turned out for
military service, the women had to " keep the wolf from the door,"
not only, metaphorically speaking, by keeping their families fed
and clothed, but literally also, by protecting them as well as their
flocks and herds from the hungry denizens of the forest.

" The inhabitants are now in the midst of their planting, and it
will be like drawing their eye teeth to call them out until they
have done it," wrote Colonel Burwell to Colonel Talbot on May
2ist, 1813.

Major-General Brock, ever anxious to study the comfort and
convenience of the militia and impressed by the conduct of the
detachments which accompanied him to Detroit, had taken
advantage of the cessation of hostilities in August, 1812, to issue
an order permitting four-fifths of the whole of the flank companies
to return home. A general inspection was, however, ordered in
the different districts and commanding officers were to call out the
men of their regiments or companies for drill once a week. The
oath of allegiance was to be administered and lists of persons
refusing to take the oath kept.

The men thus relieved from duty had but a short respite. Of
the Norfolk militia, indeed, almost the same number remained
out until the latter part of September as were on duty in July and
August. In Middlesex comparatively few turned out until after
the invasion of the Niagara frontier and the death of Brock, when
by order of i6th October of Major-General Sheaffe two-thirds of
the whole establishment of the ist and 2nd Norfolk were directed


to repair, with the greatest possible dispatch, to Chippawa, and
the same proportions of the Oxford and Middlesex regiments to
Queenston. This disposition of the forces was, however, changed
on the igth to a distribution of the regiments named between
Long Point and Point Abino. Strong detachments were to be
stationed at or near Long Point, Dover Mills, Grand River,
Sugar Loaf, with a small party distributed between the latter
place and Fort Erie, with headquarters at the most convenient
point for communication with Long Point.

The largest number of non-commissioned officers and privates
on duty at any one time in 1812 was of the ist Norfolk 74, of the
2nd Norfolk 80, during parts of July and August when about
100 from the district accompanied Brock to Detroit, as many
more, however, being available while of the Middlesex men,
who were in a newer and at that time more sparsely settled
region, few turned out until October, when 84 served from the
25th of that month till 24th November, and 64 for two months
longer. The service rolls show that more than double the number
who served, of Norfolk militia, in 1812, turned out in the autumn
of '13, while the largest number of Middlesex men out was from
22nd May to 24th July of 1814, when 172 responded. These
numbers look small, but cannot be so regarded when the state of
the settlements and their meagre population is considered.

The proportion of officers to men on the pay lists during a good
portion of the war seems a little high, especially in Middlesex,
and it may be surmised that officers' pay formed an inducement to
turn out, while the pittance of the private militiamen required the
patriotic zeal inspired by the near approach of the enemy to cause
them to make the sacrifice, in the absence of compulsion which
had never to be resorted to. Colonel Talbot no doubt exercised
a wise, if possibly somewhat paternal, discretion in placing officers
on duty from time to time and was taken to task in true military
fashion therefor by Major-General Sheaffe.

" Lieutenant-Colonel Burwell I ordered on duty," Colonel
Talbot replied to the complaint in December, 1812, "in con-
sequence of necessary information of parties from General Hull's
army having penetrated into the province " Simon Zelotes


Watson's force no doubt " to within a few miles of Port Talbot,
being myself on duty at Long Point and Fort George, with
General Brock, to whom I reported the particulars. Lieut. -
Colonel Bostwick was put on duty by a verbal order to me from
Major-General Brock on the day of his sailing with the expedition
from this place for Detroit, and the last time I had the pleasure of
seeing that lamented General he expressed to me his desire that
Lieut. -Colonel Bostwick should be continued on duty. Major
Salmon was likewise placed on duty by Major-General Brock and
was ordered to proceed down the river Thames under Captain
Chambers of the 4ist, and afterwards served in the expedition
against Detroit. Major Bowen, from being an exceedingly good
drill officer, was ordered to be stationed at Turkey Point for the
purpose of instructing the quotas of militia that were assembled
at that station, and I can with great justice assure you that Major
Bowen has been indefatigable in his attention and exertions to
form the militia for service. Adjutant Eakins was also put on
duty by Major-General Brock. Should those deserving officers be
refused pay after devoting their time to the good of the province,
much to the prejudice of their private affairs and exposed to con-
siderable expense, I am confident it would have a very unfavour-
able tendency in lessening the unquestionable loyalty and ardour
at the present manifested and destroy all faith and confidence in
the government for the future."

The pay was allowed, though not without the intervention of
the indefatigable and bustling little Quartermaster-General
Nichol himself Colonel of the 2nd Norfolk militia who burst out
in an indignant postscript, " I have got the General to pass your
estimates Couche should be hanged " this last in reference to
the Deputy Commissary-General, who had in the previous July
adopted a paper currency for the militia.

It may be added that regard for red tape, or zeal for the public
service according as it may be viewed caused further friction
not only with regard to militia pay, but also with regard to pay-
ment for provisions and forage supplied by settlers throughout the
London district, for military purposes. Deputy Commissary-
General Turquand, after consultation with Colonel Nichol, had


fixed the same prices which ruled in the Niagara district fourteen
dollars per barrel for flour, among other articles but a change of
subordinate officers led to a refusal to pay the prices previously
fixed, and great dissatisfaction resulted. Indeed so late as
March, 1814, General Drummond stated that in a visit to the
West he was met in almost every house with claims for cattle and
provisions, taken or destroyed by the troops and Indians in the
retreat from Detroit, as well as for provisions furnished, in the
neighbourhoods of Long Point and Port Talbot on the authority
of General Brock andColonel Talbot, still unpaid for the cause of
the greatest discontent. It is not surprising, therefore, that he
found a scarcity of flour at Burlington in the commissariat
magazine at that date a lack for which he unsparingly con-
demned the commissariat officer at that point.

Doubtless the 150 barrels of flour supplied by Colonel Talbot
for General Proctor on the eve of his retreat formed the basis of
some of the complaints alluded to. Much, if not all, of this flour
must have either fallen into the hands of the Americans or have
been sunk with those of Proctor's boats which went down in the
Thames. Yet Colonel Talbot and his settlers were not to blame
for this, and two thousand dollars or more, the value of this flour
at the prices fixed, was a large sum for them to stand out of at
that dav.



THE early settlers' services to the country, during the years of the
war subsequent to 1812, were not by any means confined to
drawing pay or trying to draw it and furnishing supplies for
which they looked in vain for payment. Many and varied were
their exploits in the field and experiences at home, a few of the
more notable of which may be referred to.

Lieutenant Titus Williams of the 2nd Norfolks, a son of the
veteran Captain Jonathan Williams of Woodhouse, has been
mentioned as one of those who was of Brock's force at Detroit in
1813. He accompanied Hull's army, after they became prisoners
of war, from Detroit to Fort George. He subsequently served
with distinction on the Grand River and Niagara frontier, and
surprised and took as prisoners thirty Americans under Captain
King between Fort Erie and Chippawa, but on June iyth, 1813,
when endeavouring to secure some buried arms and ammunition
at Sugar Loaf hill, he with nine privates fell into the hands of the
enemy. He suffered many vicissitudes while a prisoner on the
other side of the line. He is said to have resented the treatment
of himself and other prisoners by seizing an axe and chopping
down a Liberty pole, which did not increase his chances of liberty,
which nevertheless he subsequently regained, though not before
he and other prisoners had been threatened with death at the
hands of the Americans in reprisal for an alleged grievance of
theirs against the British. Williams subsequently served as
adjutant at Turkey Point and rose to the rank of lieutenant-

In December of the same year Lieutenant Medcalf of the same


regiment undertook, with more fortunate results, a hazardous
enterprise, which showed the determination and courage of the
pioneer militia. Pursuant to orders he set out with a party con-
sisting of twelve volunteers from Port Dover, and a sergeant and
six men of Captain Coleman's provincial dragoons, for the West,
to secure some cattle reported to be at the Rondeau. At or near
Port Talbot he was joined by Lieutenant Rice and Ensign Wilson
and seven volunteers from the Middlesex militia, among whom
were McQueen and Nevills (both afterwards militia majors). At
Rondeau Medcalf heard of a party of the enemy, consisting of
three officers and thirty-six men of the U. S. infantry posted at
McCrea's, about 15 miles from the mouth of the Thames, who
were engaged in collecting the resources of that part of the
country and compelling the inhabitants to take the oath of
neutrality. He at once determined on attacking this party.
Having been joined by Lieutenant McGregor and seven men, he
advanced in the night with all possible expedition and arrived at
the place about an hour before day, some of the party in so
exhausted a condition from the long and rapid march as to be
unable to stand. Nevertheless the house was at once surrounded
and an attack opened upon it, resulting in the wounding of five of
the enemy and, after a feeble resistance, the capture of the entire
party, which numbered more than Medcalfs force. Lieutenants
McGregor and Rice, Ensign Wilson, Sergeant Douglas of the
dragoons and Roderick Drake shared the honours of their leader,
whose zeal and discretion were soon after rewarded by his promo-
tion to a captaincy by General Sir Gordon Drummond.

Less fortunate, because more ill-judged, was the attempt of
Captain Basden of the 8gth regiment of regulars to dislodge
Captain Holmes of the 24th regiment of U. S. infantry, who with
1 60 rangers and mounted infantry (according to his own account,
though estimated at 500 by the British,) had penetrated as far east
as the Longwoods. On the approach of Captain Basden and his
force of about 240 composed of the light companies of the Royal
Scots and of the 8gth, and a detachment of loyal Kent volunteers
and about 50 Indians Holmes retreated to the Twenty-mile
Creek, some distance below Delaware. Here he protected himself


with an abattis on three sides, on the bank of the ravine, and on
the 4th March, 1814, at about five o'clock in the afternoon,
received the frontal attack of Basden and his regulars with a
succession of volleys which forced the British, who had charged
with great gallantry across the ravine and up an ascent covered
with deep crusted snow, down again, toboggan fashion, over the
frozen surface, after an hour and a halPs struggle. Basden had
detached the militia and Indians to the right and left, to turn the
enemy's flanks, but had disregarded the offers of men acquainted
with the locality to lead him by a circuit to the enemy's rear, and
had neglected to occupy a height of land opposite, which would
have commanded the American enclosure. For his error of judg-
ment his force suffered a loss of two officers (Captain Johnston,
Royal Scots, and Lieutenant Grame, Sgth,) and twelve rank and
file killed, and two officers one of whom was Basden himself
five sergeants and 43 men wounded, one volunteer wounded and
a bugler missing a total casualty list of 66. Of the wounded,
five or six of whom died within a few days, Lieutenant McGregor,
one sergeant and five men were of the Kent volunteers. Holmes
at once retreated to Detroit, and the British post then established
at Delaware, was moved east to Oxford (Ingersoll), the volunteers
halting, however, at Putnam's.

The American force, under Holmes, had come over with the
intention of proceeding, it was supposed, to Port Talbot. They
had destroyed the settlement at Point au Pins, and, having left at
Rondeau three field pieces they had brought with them, made a
diversion to the Thames settlement, with the result already stated.
Two guns were afterwards discovered in the woods near Point au
Pins by a Mr. Bell and two other men, who had escaped from
Fort Maiden, on their way to Port Talbot. They hid them care-
fully. Two gun carriages and two ammunition carts, discovered
at the same time and place, Colonel Talbot sent a party to

Port Talbot and its mill formed the objective point for a number
of the enemy's expeditions, several times under the guidance of
Andrew Westbrook, already mentioned. One of these parties
had appeared on 3ist January, 1814, at Delaware, where Captains


Springer and Brigham, loyalist residents of the same locality,
were made prisoners, and Westbrook, who accompanied the party,
burned his own buildings there. Lieut. -Colonel Baby, assistant
quartermaster-general, had already been captured by the same
party. It was charged that these three staunch loyalists were
tied with cords, the two former having been taken from the bosom
of their families, and that all were shamefully treated a charge
which Lieut. -Colonel Butler of the U. S. army, then in command
of Michigan, warmly denied. Colonel Baby and Captain Springer
were, as prisoners known to hold commissions in the British
service, sent to General Harrison's headquarters. Brigham was
held for exchange for an American said to have been taken by the
British under similar circumstances. The discrimination between
the cases of Springer and Brigham seems to have been unjust, as,
nearly a year and a half before, the former had waxed indignant
and complained in writing to Colonel Talbot of Brigham for
having mustered his (Springer's) company, during his absence at
Detroit, and selected a number of men, under authority from
Colonel Bostwick, to fill up his (Brigham's) rifle company,
preparatory to service on the Niagara frontier. Springer returned
to the country in time to take part in the closing scenes of the
war, and took part in the sanguinary engagement at the Falls in
October, 1814. His family had in the meantime suffered great
privation during his enforced absence.

In the spring (1814) the Americans again made a demonstration
in the neighbourhood of Port Talbot. Colonel Talbot had gone
to Long Point and Colonel Burwell was much concerned to find
he had taken Huntley's skiff, which he (Burwell) depended upon
to remove his family from Port Talbot to a place of greater safety.
It will be remembered that Proctor had promised to send boats
from the Thames, if he could, which he was obviously unable to
do. So that the skiff alluded to was probably Colonel Talbot's
only means of reaching his military headquarters. Burwell, who
was then at Otter Creek (Port Burwell), forthwith proceeded to
Kettle Creek (Port Stanley) to send word to Wilson and Patterson
at Port Talbot, ascertain further particulars as to the enemy's
approach, and, if necessary, muster the militia at Port Talbot.


Captain Secord had meantime gone to Schram's on the north
branch for a box of arms. It was not until 2oth May* at about 6
p. m. that the enemy actually appeared at Port Talbot, half an
hour's notice of their approach having- been given to Colonel
Burvvell by McLemans. Instantly messengers were despatched
to the settlers in the neighbourhood and a party of seven men was
rapidly moving toward Port Talbot, while a second party of a
like number, warned by Jesse Page, was in readiness to co-operate,
but through some misunderstanding the two parties failed to meet
and Burwell's plan of attack was frustrated. Meantime he
ordered the first mentioned party to retire to Neal's place to await
reinforcements and despatched messengers to the settlers and
militia officers at a greater distance. Another party of seven
were at the town line by daybreak. Daniel Rapelje of Yarmouth
(St. Thomas) and a company of 20, including himself and Ensign
B. Wilson, warned in the night, were at Ross's by 10.30 on the
morning of the 2ist. Captain Secord receiving chance intelligence
of the invasion that morning had another party of fourteen,
including Lieutenant Rice and himself, at Rapelje's (St. Thomas)
by noon, ready to move against the enemy.

Meantime the American force, which included about thirty
riflemen under the leadership of Andrew Westbrook, having
swept down on Port Talbot, made prisoners of Captain Wilson
and Walter Galbraith at the mill, Captain Patterson at the
blacksmith's shop and Thomas Matthews on his way to oppose
them. Having failed to find Colonel Talbot at home, they retired,
with such loot as they could hurriedly gather, being apprehensive
that Galbraith, the miller, who had meantime escaped, would
spread the alarm and cut off their retreat. The other prisoners
were obliged to take an oath of neutrality similar to that admin-
istered elsewhere, under pain of their houses, as well as all others
in the neighbourhood being immediately burned. The party came
from the westward, and in their haste did but little damage,

*3oth May, according to General Drummond's lettter to Sir George
Prevost of 7th June, as given in the Michigan Pioneer Collections, vol. 15, p.
89. The names of the militia officers and men who turned out on this occasion,
59 in number, are given in an appendix hereto.


though returning" later in much greater force they did much
damage. Anticipating a little the course of events elsewhere,
the subsequent raids on Port Talbot may be here referred to.

In July a party of about 200 infantry and 80 horsemen were
reported at Port Talbot, where they did a great deal of injury to
the crops of the settlement and threatened to advance further for
a similar purpose. Lieut.-Colonel Hamilton sent the Oxford
regiment of militia and some Indians in that direction from the
Forty-mile Creek to check this advance.

On the 26th August Colonel Talbot arrived at the camp of
Lieut. -General Sir Gordon Drummond before Fort Erie and laid
before the General a fresh tale of rapine at Port Talbot. A
party of militia, accompanied by some white people painted and
dressed as Indians, headed by a man named Walker, came to
Port Talbot to plunder the Colonel's property and seize him. The
Colonel was in the house, but fortunately made his escape. He
stated that the whole of his property had been carried off or
destroyed though in this he appears to have been mistaken, as
will presently appear and all his horses taken away.* Colonel
Burwell and several other respectable inhabitants were carried off.
This was the occasion when Captain Patterson, having been
captured and parolled by the enemy in the spring, advised the
Colonel to slip away, on the enemy's approach becoming known.
When the Colonel, accepting this advice and disappearing down
the hill, was crossing the bar at the mouth of the creek, one of
the pseudo Indians levelled his rifle at the retreating figure, at the
same time inquiring who he was. Patterson replied that he was
a poor man, who attended to the sheep, whereupon the rifle was
lowered and the Colonel's life in all probability saved by the state-
ment, which may be said to have been literally true, since the
Colonel shrank not from the most menial work in times of peace
and had been reduced to poverty, as he afterwards asserted to the
government, by the war. His dress at all times, when at home,
would scarcely belie Patterson's words. Colonel Burwell was

* Captain Patterson was given as authority for a statement that two quart
pots of gold and some plate, concealed under the front wing of the house,
escaped notice. E. Ermatingers " Life of Talbot," p. 49.


confined to his bed with fever and ague when taken, but was
nevertheless dragged forth, carried off and sent as a prisoner of
war to Chilicothe.

On the gth September Westbrook and a band of men, including
some Indians, re-visited Port Talbot to complete the work of
destruction. They burned down the grist and saw mills and
several houses and barns, including those of Colonel Burwell,
destroyed all Colonel Talbot's flour, killing several of his cattle.
They then proceeded eastward along the Talbot road, plundering
and parolling the inhabitants as they went. They destroyed all
the weapons they could get hold of and could not conveniently
carry. One ot their number, in endeavouring to smash a loaded
weapon in Yarmouth, accidentally shot himself, whereupon, to
the relief of the neighbourhood for the time being, his companions
retired to Moraviantown to await reinforcements from Detroit,
preparatory to completing the work of destruction of the mills
throughout this and the Long Point settlements.

Before this last visit to Port Talbot, Westbrook had on 3oth
August guided a body of about 70 of the enemy to Oxford, where
they made prisoners of Captains Curtis, Hall and Carroll, and
Sergeant Dowland, of the militia, capturing likewise and parolling
the greater part of the inhabitants from Delaware to Oxford on
their way. Mr. Bonnell and Mr. Palmer, who were purchasing
cattle for the government at the time, were taken together with
cattle to the value of $270 and $600 in cash. On Mr. Burdock's
house being attacked, he fired on the enemy, wounding one of
them, but receiving a wound himself in return. On ist September
a party of militia under Lieutenant Rapelje lay in ambush for them
near Delaware. As they were passing along the Thames valley
near the point now known as Springbank, below London,
Rapelje's party opened fire on them from the heights above. The
commander of the enemy's force was reported to have been slain
and the rest of the party to have escaped under the guidance of
Westbrook. It unhappily transpired, however, that the cautious
commander in question had placed the prisoners in the front of
the force and had mounted Captain Carroll upon his (the com-
mander's) own horse, which was a white, and consequently


conspicuous, one. Captain Carroll was shot dead in mistake for
the owner of the white horse by the British militiamen's volley,
directed at the enemy while ignorant of the presence among the
latter of the prisoners. Captain Carroll's body was interred at
Beachville and subsequently removed to a burial ground nearer

Colonel Talbot detached Captain John Bostwick with 60
militiamen to assist the settlers in checking further inroads of the



WHILE Port Talbot and the settlers in that vicinity were being-
threatened and finally plundered by marauders from the west, as
already narrated, a worse fate had already befallen Port Dover
and its vicinity.

On the i4th May, 1814, a force, variously estimated at from
300 to 800 men, under Colonel Campbell, landed from six war
vessels of the enemy, which had come over from Presque Isle or ] ;
Erie. They applied the torch to not only the building- used as a
militia barrack, but to every private house and other building,
together with Ryerse's and Finch's mills. In fact but one house ,.
was left standing between Patterson's Creek and Turkey Point
the house occupied by the widow and family of Samuel Ryerse, at*
Port Ryerse. The court house and public buildings, very
unpretentious log structures, at Turkey Point, were only saved
by the appearance of the militia. It is probable that their situa-
tion, on the crest of the precipitous heights, overlooking the bay
and Turkey Point, had much to do with their escape from
destruction, though General Drummond, on information derived
from Colonel Talbot, commanding the militia, reports that they
were only saved by the appearance of the militia and a detachment
of the igth Light Dragoons. Mrs. Harris, one of the daughters
of Mrs. Ryerse above referred to, says, in her interesting memoir,
that Colonel Talbot and the militia only reached Port Norfolk or
Turkey Point, the day after the enemy had set sail for their own
shores the militia having been concentrated at Brantford, thirty
miles distant, by Colonel Talbot, the day after the invasion, and
thence marched to Turkey Point. Mrs. Harris states that many of


both officers and men went to Brantford with great reluctance,
thinking that some effort should have been made to prevent the
enemy's landing.

The enemy, after visiting the Ryerse home, which they were
prevailed upon to spare, it being a widow's dwelling, proceeded
to Newport, now known as Fisher's Glen, where they completed
their work of destruction and reaped a rich harvest in the form
of forty barrels of the Canadian nectar of that day whiskey the
property of Silas Montross. Their ships then moved up to
Turkey Point where local tradition has it that at least one militia
officer, in the person of Captain Backhouse, had arrived, whose
figure in uniform appearing and re-appearing on the heights above
gave the impression that the Fort was garrisoned by a strong
force, which, coupled with its apparently impregnable situation,
caused them to set sail again without attempting to land their
forces. Thus the first public court house building of the London
district escaped destruction, though it fell a prey to the flames
but two years later not a vestige of any kind remaining to mark
the site of the district's first capital and its military headquarters
as desolate and as beautiful in its desolation as the site of
ancient Carthage.

General Drummond reported the detachment of dragoons and
militia as having " evinced the strongest anxiety to come in
contact with the enemy," though Lieutenant Charles Ingersoll, in
a letter written on May 2Oth, said: "I have this morning
returned from Long Point. The Americans all left that place
after burning three grist mills and the little village of Dover. A.
Markle and young Green were the principal leaders. They were
permitted to land very quietly in sight of the igth dragoons and a
small party of militia. The number could not have been very
great. The dragoons were ordered to retire and had reached the
crossing of the Grand River before they were countermanded."

Twenty dwelling houses, three flour mills, three saw mills,
three distilleries, twelve barns and a number of other buildings
were destroyed, while cows and hogs were shot and left to rot on
the ground. These wanton and barbarous acts were the ground
of strong representations to the American authorities, who went


through the form of holding" an enquiry into the conduct of
Colonel Campbell, who was found guilty of an error of judgment.
The destruction subsequently of the capitol at Washington by the
British was in retaliation for the conduct of the enemy at Port
Dover, as we}l as at Newark and York previously, and at St.
David's in July following though private property was left intact
by the British.

It may be here mentioned that Turkey Point was selected in
1814 as a naval station on the recommendation of Lieut. -Colonel
Nichol, approved by General Drummond, and a ship was to have
been constructed during the winter, but the want of guns and
stores to complete a vessel of the class designed and the scarcity
of provisions consequent on the raid of McArthur's force in
November, which will be presently referred to, caused the
abandonment for the time being of the plan ; though the military
proceeded to erect cover and defences for the troops and naval
artificers and a detachment of the 37th regiment and roo militia
were on permanent duty there as late as February, 1815, and Sir
James Yeo in that month visited Long Point in company with
Colonel Talbot.*

During the spring and summer of 1824 the two Norfolk and ist
Middlesex regiments to the number of about 600 officers and men,
as well as the Oxford militia, were on active duty under the com-
mand of Colonel Talbot, largely on the Niagara frontier, during
the period in which the sanguinary battles at Chippawa Creek and
Lundy's Lane took place ; and, while their comparative freedom
from serious casualties indicates that their duties were chiefly
confined to guard, outpost, convoy, and the like services, for
which in their comparatively untrained condition a large propor-
tion of them were best fitted, they acquitted themselves with

The war cloud which had with fitful flashes and occasional
outbursts been moving up and down the Niagara frontier, burst
forth in all its fury on the evening of the 25th July at Lundy's
Lane. So much has been written of this most hotly-contested

*See letter Colonel Talbot to Major Salmon in appendix.


and sanguinary battle of the war that it is only necessary to say
here that during the conflict the Norfolk, Oxford, Kent and Essex
rangers and Middlesex militia arrived upon the scene and merited
and received the warmest thanks of Lieut. -General Sir Gordon
Drummond in his general order issued next day. By the same
order the General dismissed the whole of the sedentary militia to
the homes where they were so much needed.

Both sides, as is well-known, claimed the victory at Lundy's
Lane. Yet the fact remains that the Americans retreated after
the battle. " Our victory was complete," bitterly wrote the
American Major-General Porter on the 2gth, "but, alas, this
victory, gained by exhibitions of bravery never surpassed in this
country, was converted into defeat by a precipitous retreat, leav-
ing the dead, the wounded and captured artillery, and our hard-
earned honour to the enemy."

The withdrawal of the detachment of the looth regiment from
Turkey Point after Proctor's defeat, the subsequent absence of
the militia from their homes and the general lack of arms and
adequate means of protection, encouraged many marauders and
disaffected inhabitants to plunder, commit depredations and in
some cases to murder and to endeavour to disorganize the militia
by carrying off militia officers usually under the leadership of
some desperate character, such as Corbett, who had escaped from
York jail, or John Dixon, a former resident. Benajah Mallory,
the member for the London district in the Legislative Assembly,
and his fellow-member, Joseph Wilcox, had gone over to the
other side and raised a so-called "Canadian regiment," but the
interior settlements suffered chiefly from the marauding bands
alluded to.

In one instance a number of settlers banded themselves
together, obtained arms and ammunition supplied to the Oxford
militia, and marched under Lieut. -Colonel Bostwick to the
rendezvous of the plunderers, who were in much superior force,
but were nevertheless defeated and a large number taken prisoners,
and held for trial under special commission which sat at Ancaster,
opening on 23rd May. Seventeen were brought to trial out of
upwards of seventy from the Western, London and Niagara


districts, but chiefly from the London district, and of these fifteen
were convicted and sentenced to death, seven of whom, as the
least guilty, being" reprieved.

Several prowling armed desperadoes and former residents
appeared also in the neighbourhood of Dover towards the autumn,
and the house of John Muckle of Townsend was broken into by
two men named Dickson and Simon Mabee, who broke open a
chest and carried off $200. The culmination of the outrages com-
mitted by this gang, which was led by John Dickson, was the
murder by him, in conjunction with Henry Dockstader and John
Robinson, of old Captain Francis, who was shot in cold blood as
he looked out of his own window, having been aroused from his
bed by them at dead of night in October. Dickson was born in
the United States, but had lived in Canada, and married the
daughter of a U. E. loyalist. The gang of which he was a leader
consisted of more than a dozen former residents of Canada, who,
during the war, made incursions from the neighbourhood of
Buffalo. Their intention was to murder Colonel Talbot, Thomas
Francis and William Drake, but Dickson himself survived the
murder of Captain Francis but a few days, having received a
mortal wound from some militiamen near Sugar Loaf.

It was stated at the close of the last chapter that Colonel
Talbot had detailed Captain John Bostwick with 60 men to assist
in checking further inroads from the west.

In the afternoon of 3rd November two men arrived at Captain
Bostwick 's quarters, on the Talbot road in Yarmouth, from the
Thames below Moraviantown, with intelligence that the enemy,
numbering from 800 to 1,000 mounted men,* with two three-
pounders and a howitzer, had left Moraviantown the previous
Monday, intending to camp that night at Fleming's. Their
march was so secretly made that it was not known they were on
the Thames until they had been more than a day at Moravian-
town. They had marched up the river St. Clair, circulating a
report that they were going to Saginaw, then crossed the river to
Belledoon, proceeded up Bear Creek till they were opposite

*6oo volunteers, 50 U. S. rangers and 70 Indians, according- to General
McArthur's report to the Secretary of War, of i8th November, 1814.


Moraviantown, and crossed over to that place carrying their field
pieces on horses. They were chiefly Kentuckians, undisciplined,
under command of Brigadier-General McArthur. They professed
to be heading for Burlington. At Oxford they burned the house
and barn of George Nichol for having given notice to Colonel
Bostwick of their approach, while Freedom Burdick suffered also
some loss of property. They proceeded thence to Burford on 5th
November, where the militia were said to have been embodied in
anticipation of their approach, but found the latter had fallen back
to Malcolm's Mills, ten miles distant. At the Grand River they
found the waters swollen, while Major Muir, who was present
with some militia and Indians to dispute their passage, had
destroyed the scow which did duty as ferry. In consequence of
this and the approach of Lieut. -Colonel Smelt with a detachment
of regulars and three guns and the further intelligence that
General Brown had quitted the Canadian side of the Niagara,
McArthur abandoned his intention of advancing on Burlington,
and moved towards Malcolm's Mills, twelve miles from the river
on the west side, leaving a detachment to engage the attention of
the British at the crossing, His intention now was to destroy
the mills of the Grand River and Long Point settlement and
return to American territory either by way of Fort Erie or by
Talbot street. The latter route was followed, after some skirm-
ishing with the militia in the neighbourhood of Malcolm's Mills
and the destruction of all the mills of the settlements, with the
exception of two Tisdale's and Backhouse's spared, according
to Colonel Talbot, by the entreaties of the American marshal
(Long) who had remained at Long Point to deliver over British
prisoners* though, according to Captain Chambers, the rapidity
of his pursuit and pressure of the enemy with a detachment of the
igth dragoons and a body of militia under Major Salmon, saved
these mills from sharing the fate of the rest.

According to Chambers the enemy were guilty, not only of

*The prisoners taken on Lake Erie and at Moraviantown had been landed
in detachments at Long- Point, from Kentucky, in the most deplorable condi-
tion nearly naked, sick, and some even in a dying condition from neglect,
exposure and want of proper food during their many weeks' journey home-
ward women and children as well as men.


plundering the country in a most shameful manner, stealing-
horses and clothing as well as firing mills, but of butchery and
scalping the bodies of Sergeant Collins of the regulars and
Private Barto of the militia affording evidence of this barbarous

In fairness it may be stated that General McArthur's report of
the whole expedition presents it in a very different light to that in
which it was regarded by the sufferers. He represents
the Malcolm's Mills skirmishes as a victory of considerable
magnitude* though apparently, according to his own figures, he
was opposed by a force of militia considerably less than his own
strength. He states that "of private property no more was
destroyed than was absolutely necessary for the support of the
troops, for which regular payments or receipts were given." He
admits some abuses by the Indians, but considered their correct
and gallant conduct before and during battle as some excuse for
these. In all cases of horses taken receipts were, according to
McArthur, given. If receipts only were given and no record
of their redemption appears the settlers might be excused for
regarding the transactions as robbery and spoliation. As to the
statement that no more private property was destroyed than
sufficed to subsist the troops it may be mentioned that a prisoner
named Bazley taken by Captain Caldwell stated his belief that the
enemy " only destroyed and carried off 250 horses, 200 sheep, 100
oxen and 100 hogs " besides burning the houses of several loyal

*McArthur's account of the affair is as follows : "We found the enemy,
consisting -of four or five hundred militia, with a few Indians, fortified on a
commanding- ground beyond a creek deep and difficult of passage, except at
a bridge immediately in front of their works, which had been destroyed.
Arrangements were made for a joint attack on the front and rear. The Ohio
troops, with the advance guard and Indians, were accordingly thrown across
the creek under cover of a thick wood, to approach the enemy in the rear,
while the Kentucky troops were to attack in front, as soon as the attention of
the enemy was engaged by the attack in the rear. The enemy would have
been completely surprised and captured had not an unfortunate yell by our
Indians announced the approach of the detachment destined to attack their
rear. They were, however, defeated and dispersed with the loss in the
skirmishes on that day of one captain and seventeen privates killed, nine
privates wounded, and three captains, five subalterns and one hundred and
three privates made prisoners, whilst our loss was only one killed and six
wounded. Early on the yth instant the enemy were pursued on the road to
Dover, many made prisoners and five valuable mills destroyed."


subjects in the vicinity of Oxford and all the mills but two west of
the Grand River by the time they left the province.

The force camped for a night on the site of St. Thomas a little
to the west of the present St. Andrew's market. " The products
of Daniel Rapelje's new farm had all been gathered in joy and
gladness," wrote one of his children, " that which had been
waited for, toiled for in patience, had been reaped." He had seen
the troops at a distance at Malcolm's Mills, but they had reached
Kettle Creek before him. " In the morning that which had been
given was all destroyed and gone, the wheat and hay scattered
over the fields, and corn taken out of the crib the sheep were all
slaughtered." It is further narrated that Colonel Talbot, a short
time before, had left a box full of valuable papers at Rapelje's,
with instructions that they were to be kept safe at all hazards.
Mrs. Rapelje took the box and placed it on the ground between
some beehives which were in the "hemp patch" where it
remained unmolested thanks to the busy bees and a woman's
ready wit.

McArthur's force reached Detroit on lyth November. Among
their "just claims to the gratitude ot their country," put forth by
their commander, were the facts " that they have penetrated two
hundred miles into the enemy's territory, destroyed two hundred
stand of arms, together with five of their most valuable mills,
parolled or dispersed the greater part of the efficient militia of that
part of Upper Canada west of the Grand River, and the whole
detachment has returned to this place (Detroit) with the exception
of one killed."

This raid was the last act in the war of 1812-14. From the day
of Hull's invasion nearly two years and a half before, until
McArthur's passage across the Detroit at the same point, the
settlers of the Western and London districts had suffered the
ravages of war crops devastated, homes burned, flocks and
herds, meagre enough before, now gone, heads of families here
and there carried into captivity or slain. And yet this scourge of
war, with all its horrors, proved not an unmixed evil. It was,
as it were, the baptism of a new young nation. It taught lessons
of self-reliance and strength of purpose, necessary to the upbuild


ing of a nation of freemen. The U. E. loyalists had given up
all, rather than renounce their allegiance, and hewed out new
homes in the wilderness. They had now found themselves capable
of defending them.

The country, too, had been rid of a good deal of bad blood, the
loss of which was necessary to its health. The traitors Wilcox
and Benajah Mallory, the latter of whom had been member of
parliament for the London district for two terms, Watson and
Westbrook, and many others were gone, some slain as were
Wilcox and John Dickson others fled to more congenial climes.
Canada could well spare them all.

The Loyal and Patriotic Society of Upper Canada did good
work. Some three thousand dollars were sent Colonel Talbot to
supply the pressing necessities of his settlers, beside many
individual grants to special sufferers. The Nova Scotia legisla-
ture made a grant to assist sufferers in this province, a large
number of whom, especially in the Long Point settlement, had
come from the Maritime province. The war chronicles of this
latter settlement are so interwoven with those of the Talbot
settlement proper the militia of both being commanded by
Colonel Talbot (with a, to a certain extent, common judicial and
municipal history)-^that it has been found necessary to follow the
course of events in both settlements to some extent. No attempt
has, however, been here made to follow the events of the war
throughout the wider theatre of its operations, outside those
settlements and their immediate surroundings.

This war, undertaken by the enemy at a time when Britain was
believed to be too much occupied with Napoleon in Europe to
defend Canada, was now happily ended, without the loss of a single
foot of Canadian or British territory.



DURING the war the settlement had remained practically at a
standstill, while its resources were depleted and much property
laid waste. Colonel Talbot as he stated some years after in a
memorial to the Secretary of State on the restoration of peace,
found a large farm which he had cleared and brought into cultiva-
tion, completely laid waste by the enemy ; his grist and sawmills,
erected by him at a very heavy expense for the accommodation of
the surrounding settlers, burnt to the ground all his effects
carried off or destroyed and his people reduced to the utmost
distress and poverty. Nevertheless he did not despair, but
diligently set himself to repair the damages he had sustained in
the best manner he was able.

He had many difficulties to contend with. A large number of
immigrants began to flock in, who were very poor, and relied
upon his hospitality at the start. His house was ever open to
such.' Prices, too, fell ; and both the Colonel and the settlers
began to feel the pinch, until a few years later he found himself
unable to continue his usual aid to settlers, without some assist-
ance from government.

But while he always found a sympathetic ear open to his repre-
sentations at the colonial office in England, he had numerous
controversies with the provincial government at York.

By the terms of Lord Hobart's despatch he was to have 200
acres of adjacent lands granted to him for every family of actual
settlers to whom he had surrendered fifty acres of his original
grant. His original grant was 5,000 acres, exclusive of 1,200
acres he had been granted before his settlement began.


The provincial government in 1817 took the view that this
order " was predicated upon a project to benefit the colony by the
culture of hemp, and it was submitted to a reasonable trial."
They contended that the reservation of adjacent lands was
temporary and to be limited by the discretion of the provincial
government, but as to quantity that it was limited by the order
itself, and the Surveyor-General having reported grants to the
Colonel of 15,800 acres under the order, they were " of one
opinion that a further reserve of 4,200 acres is all that can be
claimed by Colonel Talbot under the most liberal construction of
the order in his favour."

This interpretation was so entirely different from what the
Colonel conceived to be meant by His Majesty's ministers that he
made immediate preparations to proceed to England ascertain His
Majesty's pleasure on the subject only asking of the provincial
government that no locations be meantime made on the land
placed under his superintendence.

The winter of 1817-18 accordingly found Colonel Talbot in
London, whither also the provincial government had sent their
views embodied in a report of Chief Justice W. D. Powell, in
which the importance of a change in "the course heretofore
tolerated in respect of settling the waste land in this province
without the immediate and direct participation of the council and
Surveyor-General, the regular organs of the first location," was
urged. The report went on to refer to the cultivation of hemp as
the chief consideration which secured the original order in Colonel
Talbot's favour, and the subsequent abandonment of that industry,
also to a recent order prohibiting indiscriminate settlement from
the United States and to the slow progress up to that time of the
settlement. " In fourteen years," it was stated, " compensation
had been required for little more than fifty settlers, whilst many
thousand acres of surveyed land remain unappropriated."

We have seen how the war had stopped settlement and how it
afterwards became accelerated. In this particular the report
seems somewhat disingenuous.

The case against Colonel Talbot was, however, stated with all
Chief Justice Powell's accustomed vigor, clearness and ability.


" His Majesty's government," he said, " had prohibited the
inundation of settlers from the United States, and had authorized
the consul of New York to grant certificates to emigrants from
the United Kingdom, for one hundred acres of land in Upper
Canada. When these people discovered that the soil and climate
near to Colonel Talbot's settlement were favourable, many flooded
there without even presenting themselves to the government, and
these were found either a location of 50 acres as Colonel Talbot's
settler, for which he in return claimed a grant of 200 acres ; or
they found a location of one hundred acres in certain lands sub-
mitted to the superintendence of that gentlemen, as will be
presently explained, and in either case the interests of the colonial
government are implicated. When the emigrant possessing an
authority to receive one hundred acres of land," he added, "finds
himself limited to the possession of fifty, and that the government
actually bestows on a stranger 200 acres on that account, no
reasoning can remove the impression of something worse than
mere absurdity." The word " stranger," as applied to Colonel
Talbot, rankled.

Colonel Talbot's settlement in Dunwich and Aldborough being
separated from the Long Point settlement by a large tract of
forest land, a road of communication had, on Talbot's representa-
tion, been laid out from the Long Point settlement to his, the
reserves for crown and clergy removed from the road and lots
granted to actual settlers, on conditions, the great object of which
was to render the road practicable with the greatest expedition.

This road soon became known as the Talbot road, and the con-
ditions referred to included its actual clearing and construction by
the settlers themselves under the direction of Colonel Talbot.

To quote again from the Chief Justice's report :

" The interest Mr. Talbot had in this road induced Lieutenant-Governor
Gore to confide to him the superintendence of this actual settlement, and
gradually he retained the nomination and location of the settlers as well as
the supervision of their labours and the fulfilment of their engagements. The
settlers should each have received an order in council for his land, and the
location of it should have been made by the surveyor-general, the fee for the
survey and patent being first paid. By relaxation of this orderly process


with respect to all settlement, the government remained ignorant of the
quality of the settler, the surveyor-general ignorant of his location and the
receiver-general was unpaid. By these means a partiality was operated
amongst the new emigrants, which could not fail to produce an injurious
effect. The emigrant applying to the governor-in-council received, it is true,
an order for one hundred acres of land, but he could not take possession till
the survey money, if not the patent fee, was paid, when if he passed by the
Talbot school township road, etc., found 100 acres to enter upon without
advance. Such as did not receive that advantage felt the distinction and
that was an injury. At the time when fresh surveys were called for to
accommodate emigrants, and the want of money withheld the order for them,
it appeared that large tracts of surveyed land on the road and adjacent town-
ships of Bayham and Malahide, which Lieutenant-Governor Gore had also
subjected to the exclusive location by Colonel Talbot, were left apart, and
that a large arrear of survey money and fees had accumulated to the amount of
upwards of ^4,000. His Excellency, Lieutenant-Governor Gore, called upon
Mr. Talbot for the deposit of fees and survey money on all locations made by
him, not only in the Talbot school township road, but in the townships of
Bayham and Malahide, and restored those townships to the ordinary course
of location, which it is the object of Colonel Talbot's memorial to continue to

It was therefore recommended that actual locations in Bayham
and Malahide and on the road, the state of improvements, and of
the road, and the defaulters as to survey money and patent fees,
be ascertained in order that after six months the lots for which
payment had not been made or settlement duties in progress,
should be re-opened for settlement by the surveyor.

From all this it will be seen that while the Provincial Govern-
ment were insisting" upon the payment of survey money and patent
fees as a pre-requisite to settlement, Colonel Talbot was chiefly
anxious to secure actual settlers and open up the country, both in
his own and the province's interest and that he was becoming
increasingly successful in both respects. Settlers "flocked" to
his district and the Talbot road was already acquiring the reputa-
tion of being one of the best, as well as one of the longest, roads
in the province. He located the settlers by means of his map and
lead pencil or, with the aid of an india-rubber eraser, transferred
them without the necessity of a journey to York, which was out
of the usual routes of entry to the country. He concerned himself
not about survey money or patent fees v but saw that the settler


cleared his piece of road and performed his other settlement
duties believing these the more important preliminaries before
he gave him his certificate, leaving the government to collect
their fees when the patent was applied for, and manage the
finances as best they might. The settlers were mostly poor and
required all they had to maintain themselves and their families
at first.

Earl Bathurst, Chief Secretary of State for the Colonies, disposed
of Colonel Talbot's appeal in February (1818), concurring in the
opinion expressed by the provincial government that the utmost
grant to him, authorized by Lord Hobart's letter, did not exceed
20,000 acres, though he had reason to believe that the Colonel
had, previous to his departure from England, been induced to
entertain expectations of a larger grant.

" But the successful exertions which Colonel Talbot has made,"
continued Lord Bathurst, "for the improvement of the lands
under his charge and for the settlement of the townships with
which he has been connected, entitle him to the most liberal
consideration of government, and I have therefore to signify to
you the pleasure of His Royal Highness, the Prince Regent, that
you should, for the next five years, and no longer, reserve at
Colonel Talbot's disposal, under the conditions stated in Lord
Hobart's despatch of February (1803), such further proportions of
the townships of Aldborough and Dunwich, as were vacant at the
time of Colonel Talbot's commencing his settlement."

The provincial government was further informed that no other
restrictions than those imposed by acts of parliament having
reference to settlement in North America, were to apply as to the
class of settlers whom Colonel Talbot might select, and a previous
examination of settlers at York before they could receive locations
from Colonel Talbot, was unnecessary. Instructions were also
given that the fees on grants of land should not be demanded
until the completion of settlement duties and that, immediately
upon their completion, the deeds should be delivered without
further difficulty, delay or restriction.

It may be here remarked that, while Colonel Talbot appears to
have made complaint of delays and difficulties imposed by the


provincial officials in issuing 1 deeds, they in turn made complaints
subsequently of the number of patents which remained in their
hands for many years uncalled for and unpaid for a remissness,
by the way, which was not chargeable only against the Talbot
settlers, but against many who were much better able to pay, as
well. Colonel Talbot was able in reply to point out that his
duties were confined to supplying the settler with a certificate
when he had complied with all conditions as to actual residence
and performance of settlement duties, entitling him to receive his
patent, but that he had no power to compel the settler to proceed
to York to get it sooner than he felt disposed though he
promised to issue a circular to settlers notifying them to take out
their patents with as little delay as possible after having become
entitled to do so.

In his Life of Colonel Talbot, the present writer's father quoted
the well-known Dr. Dunlop, a friend of Colonel Talbot's, as
authority for the statement that the officials at Little York gave
Colonel Talbot trouble and annoyance from a desire to acquire a
portion of the lands under his control for themselves, their kith
and kin with which object also, the doctor said, they desired
the tract to remain " a howling wilderness." A letter to the
author of the Life of Colonel Talbot, in the present writer's pos-
session, from Chief Justice Sir John Beverly Robinson, a personal
friend also of Colonel Talbot (whose side of the story only he says
he had heard), states that he believed any of the gentlemen
referred to, much above the feelings ascribed to them, and parti-
cularized Chief Justice Powell as being " as free from all imputa-
tion of acting corruptly from selfish motives as any man I know.
He was by disposition liberal, and regarded money little. He
might by other considerations, however, be led to take a part
which brought him unpleasantly into collision with Col. Talbot."



HAVING obtained an extension of time within which to complete
his settlement, Colonel Talbot returned to Canada where so great
was the influx of settlers to his territory and so active was he in
locating- them that we find him, in less than four years later, again
visiting Downing street, this time the bearer of a fresh memorial
stating that "his project was fully realized." Among other things
he set forth that by his exertions in opening and settling roads
east and west and along the Thames, what was then called the
Talbot settlement, had "now become the most populous and
flourishing settlement in Upper Canada, containing as it does a
population of at least 12,000 souls and establishing an uninter-
rupted communication between the eastern and western extremi-
ties of Lake Erie, and the settlements to the northward."

The colonial administration had, he said, become so thoroughly
impressed with his mode of settlement over that heretofore
practised, that it had endeavored to introduce the system employed
by him, generally, throughout the province.

Setting forth his losses during the war and his struggles and
expenses in assisting incoming settlers since as stated at com-
mencement of the last chapter which had completely exhausted
his capital and reduced him to great straits, he asked government
aid. This was in 1822.

In 1826, Colonel Talbot renewed his application to Lord
Bathurst, by memorial transmitted by Sir Peregrine Maitland,
Lieutenant-Governor, stating that after twenty-three years entirely
devoted to the improvement of the western districts and estab-


lishing on their lands about 20,000 people, without any expense
for superintendence to the government or the persons immediately
benefited, but on the contrary, at a sacrifice of ^20,000, in
rendering them comfortable, he found himself entirely straitened
and now wholly without capital.

" I gratefully acknowledge," he wrote, "a very considerable
grant of land from the Crown, but my agricultural labours have
been unprofitable and must continue so, while the settlements are
in progress, as the provisions I raise are chiefly applied to the
support of new comers, and although they may promise to pay, it
seldom happens that they are able, and neither my situation nor
inclination will permit me to resort to the usual method of com-
pulsion indeed, to do so would, in many cases, be to destroy the
fruit of my labour and to plunge them into greater distress than
that from whence I had rescued them."

This application was successful to the extent that Colonel Tal-
bot was granted by Earl Bathurst's order, from ist January, 1826,
^400 per annum out of the Crown revenues derived from the
Canada Company.

It was not, however, part of Talbot's plan to become a mere
pensioner under government. He was too restlessly active for
that and was constantly looking about for fresh lands to people.
In the spring of 1828, the Colonel, having sailed from New York
for Liverpool, in the packet ship William Thomson, early in
February, was accordingly in Mount Street, in London, England,
busily engaged with a map, obtained from Mr. Hay, Under Secre-
tary of State, whereon he coloured in red like a modern
imperialist the tract, the whole of which he was desirous should
be considered as the Talbot settlement, and placed under his
superintendence which map was duly transmitted through Down-
ing Street to the Provincial Government, who, as might be
expected, did not view it with favour.

The Colonel was again in Mount Street in the early spring of
1829 having presumably spent a twelvemonth in Great Britain
applying now for two assistants at salaries of ^"150 each and a
salary of 200 to cover his own expenses of superintending the
settlement of the extensive tract of land "proposed to be placed"


under his superintendence. Presumably, this request was not
granted, as the Provincial Governor, Sir J. Colborne, in September
(1829), reported against the tract, coloured red by Colonel Talbot,
being taken out of the control of the Commissioner of Crown

The district under the Colonel's control was, however, suf-
ficiently vast. His distance from the Provincial capital, as well
as his spirit of independence, strengthened, no doubt, by the
consciousness that he had the sympathy of the home authorities,
tended to render him impatient of the red tape methods of Pro-
vincial Government officials, though it must be said that his
communications were ever couched in respectful language and he
seems to have always endeavoured to fortify himself beforehand
with official sanction for all he did.

As an instance, however, of his method of sometimes putting
red tape to an extreme tension, may be mentioned the survey of a
road from Westminster to Port Talbot.

Under an informal order of Governor Gore, it seems, a road was
to be laid out to connect the road through Westminster with the
Talbot road "so-called" to use Surveyor-General Ridout's
expression and also a road from Southwold to Amherstburg, and
lots to be laid out thereon. Colonel Burwell made the survey of
the connecting road in 1811, under the direction of Colonel
Talbot. Governor Gore, who was on intimate terms with Colonel
Talbot and visited him at Port Talbot, having gone to England,
and President Brock being installed in his place ad interim, there
would seem to have been a disposition on the part of the officials
at headquarters in York to have matters put in more regular
form ; and the Surveyor-General in March, 1812, finding Governor
Gore's order as to the road unconfirmed by order-in-council, wrote
Talbot not to place any settlers on the lots surveyed on the road.
In the following month he, " to his extreme surprise discovered'
to quote his own language "that Mr. Burwell, instead of
running a line for a road from the road through Westminster to
join Colonel Talbot's road, as the ground may best suit for that
purpose " as ordered by Lieut. -Governor Gore, and agreeably to
Mr. Ridout's instructions of June previous had begun his survey


in the limits between Dunwich and Southwold, at the distance ot
200 chains in rear of Talbot road, and had run the road since
known as the North branch of the Talbot road, or more familiarly
" the Back street," parallel to the main Talbot road, surveyed two
years before (1809), through nearly the whole township of South-
wold, and also a road connecting" both these parallel roads with
the road through Westminster, at the same time laying off lots
along- the whole extent of the newly surveyed roads.

As the township of Southwold was particularly reserved for
schools, it was pointed out that any surveys or locations to be
made therein required the special interference of council. Had
the line of road been the most straight and direct line from the
Westminster road to the Talbot road, the difficulty would prob-
ably have been less, according to the Surveyor-General, but, as it
was he could not give the smallest hope that the parallel new road
would be confirmed by the government, etc., etc.

Some ten days later (2oth April, 1812,) President Brock
enclosed in a friendly letter to Colonel Talbot the report of council
in the matter, regretting it was not more satisfactory and saying
that not an idea existed of any survey having been made of the
land parallel to Talbot road and no document could be found
authorizing the service. If the Colonel by any means could make
it appear that Governor Gore was privy to and sanctioned the
measure, Brock still had hopes of the council meeting the Colonel's
wishes. However premature the latter may have been, the
president was satisfied he acted from the best of motives.

That Southwold, on the borders of which both he and Colonel
Burwell lived, should be closed to settlement, was by no means in
accordance with Colonel Talbot's ideas, and that the quietest
way to open it was by a new road with lots along it, running
parallel with the former road and giving better access from the
more northerly parts to Port Talbot the Mecca of all early
settlers was no doubt his view. With Talbot action followed
thought more rapidly than with the York officials.

The outbreak of the war within a few weeks no doubt put the
subject out of all minds for the time being but the Colonel's
policy in the end prevailed. The North branch or Back street


exists to-day, flanked by some of the fairest farms in the county of

Colonel Talbot justly prided himself on the policy of settlement
duties and good roads, which he inaugurated. In the course of a
lengthy letter to Sir John Colborne, written in 1831, he said :

" I was the first person who exacted the performance of settlement duties,
and actual residence on the land located, which at that time was considered
most arbitrary on my part, but the consequence now is that the settlers that
I forced to comply with my system are most grateful and sensible of the
advantage they could not otherwise have for a length of time derived by the
accomplishment of good roads, and I have not any hesitation in stating that
there is not another settlement in North America which can, for its age and
extent, exhibit so compact and profitably settled a portion of the new world

as the Talbot Settlement My population amounts to

40,000 souls."

This population was spread over 28 townships, comprising
more than half a million acres.



IN 1816 and succeeding years a considerable number of Highland
families found their way into the Talbot settlement and took up
land from Colonel Talbot in Dunwich, Aldborough and other
townships. Some fifteen families who had previously settled at
Caledonia, in the State of New York, migrated to Aldborough
in 1816 and 1817 those of Archibald Gillies, John Menzie,
Thomas Ford, Donald McEwen, Finlay McDiarmid and Alexander
Forbes among the number. In the autumn of 1817 they were
joined by Peter McKellar (father of the late Sheriff McKellar, of
Hamilton), his brother-in-law, McNab, and sisters, and John
Macdougall (grandfather of the late Colin Macdougall, Q.C., of St.
Thomas), who came direct from Scotland.* In 1818 thirty-six
families among them the Munro's and Leitch's from Mull and
other parts of Argyleshire, followed in 1819 by upwards of 35,
and in 1820 by 25 more families from Argyleshire, landed at the
same place where their predecessors had disembarked the
Sixteen Creek in Aldborough, so-called from its being 16 miles
west of Port Talbot.

In addition to these there came Angus McKay, George Gunn,
Bannerman and others from Lord Selkirk's settlement in the Red

*The following' persons, most of whom had families, were in the settlement
when Geo. Munro arrived in 1818 : Gregor McGregor, Thomas Ford,
Duncan Stewart, Thomas Dewar, Alex. Forbes, Archie Gillies, John
Douglas, James McKindley (three brothers and two sisters), Peter McKellar,
John McDougall, John McEwen, John Gillies, Finlay McDiarmid, Donald
McNaughton, Malcolm Robinson, Angus McKay, Thomas and Samuel
McColl, Dugald Campbell and three sons, John Kerr, Neil Haggert and
one Rider. These came in 1816 and 1817. Donald McGugan came in 1819.


River country, which hardships, privations and the warfare waged
between the rival fur companies had caused them to quit. They
found hardships enough in their new homes.

Some of these Highland settlers made their homes in Lobo and
Caradoc, but most of them settled in Dunwich and Aldborough,
where the Gaelic was for a long time the chief tongue spoken,
outside the limits of " Little Ireland " and the region of " Coyne's
Corners," where Henry Coyne, a native of Belfast, Ireland, had
established himself in 1817, having followed his brothers-in-law,
Thomas Gardiner said to have been the first school master in
what is now the county of Elgin and Singleton Gardiner into the
Talbot settlement.

Talbot road west of Port Talbot was at this time little better
than a blazed line, but along this line most of the first comers
settled, and gradually the road was evolved.

Colonel Talbot's mill, destroyed during the war, had not
been re-built, and whole families were without even bread to eat
for months at a time. Eventually the saw mill was re-built. To
obtain flour, however, wheat had to be grown a question of time
and toil and propitious weather and a journey of weeks made
upon the often tempestuous lake in open boats or with hand-
sleighs upon the ice in winter. To buy the flour meant some $16
per barrel, when procurable at all in the settlement, or $12 at

The well-known George Munro, of Aldborough, told how that
in November, 1818, four men went in a small boat to Long Point
for flour to be divided among the settlers fifty-four families,
thirty-six of whom had but recently arrived. The families who
had come previously in 1816 and 1817 had barely raised enough
corn and potatoes for their own use, but with true Christian spirit
held all in common with the new arrivals. The boat was
expected back in ten days, but three weeks elapsed and yet no
sign of boat or men. By this time all the food in the infant
settlement was consumed, with the exception of some turnips,
upon which, with chestnuts, providentially abundant that season,
the settlers were obliged to subsist for almost ten days. Four
weeks from the time they had set out the boatmen returned.


They had been storm-stayed on the return journey for two weeks
at the mouth of the Otter. Proceeding' west about thirty miles,
they were met by a sou'-west storm, which drove them ashore
and wrecked the boat, while they with difficulty saved half the
provisions, which they piled beyond reach of the surf about twenty
miles east of the settlement. There was no snow and no roads
existed there as yet. The rescued flour had perforce to be carried
by the young" men of the settlement on their backs, and this they
set out to do, distributing it among the suffering families. Before
this supply was exhausted a party with hand-sleighs made the
journey to and from Long Point on the ice, procuring sufficient
flour for the following summer.

" There was not a mill within many miles in the beginning of
1819," added Mr. Munro ; " before the end of the year there was
one in almost every house, but they were hand-mills " the joint
production of Peter McKellar and John Menzie.

In 1820 McKellar, an ingenious man, though he had never
served a day's apprenticeship at any trade, erected a mill on the
Sixteen Creek. All the wheels and gearing were made by him-
self, though the irons were contributed by Colonel Talbot from the
ruins of his Port Talbot mill. The settlers aided in making a
dam or raceway, and the hand-mills had a rest, except in times of
drought or severe frost. The creek was not a living stream for a
great portion of the year, so that the season for grinding was
from March to June. To do the grinding for the settlement in so
short a time, Mr. McKellar ran the mill all alone, day and night.
" He would start the mill," said Sheriff McKellar, " at 2 a. m. on
Monday morning and never leave it until 9 p. m. Saturday
evening. I have seen women come to the mill, each carrying a
bag of grain on her back. When the grain was ground, they
carried the bags of meal home again. Meantime the husbands
were at home preparing the land for a spring crop." For pro-
viding this mill, the Sheriff claimed that his father was to have
received from Colonel Talbot an additional 50 acres of land,
besides the irons before mentioned, but he did not get the land.

Deer and wild turkeys abounded at times, and, though some-
times destructive to the settlers' crops, were more welcome than


the omnipresent wolves or the marauding" raccoons, which stole
the corn by night as did the black squirrels by day.

The forest for it was pretty much all forest tempered the bit-
ing winter winds to those Highland lads, who had no other pro-
tection below the middle than their kilts. In 1820 there were but
150 acres under cultivation in the whole township of Aldborough
Archie Gillies being the proud possessor of 20 of them.

" Bees " in this, as in all other new settlements, afforded the
chief opportunities alike for social enjoyment and for co-operation
in work requiring more than the hands at each family's command.
After the work was done, the piper was installed on the table a
fiddler in most other settlements did similar duty and the merry
dance was kept up till morning- Highland reels and jigs without
dress suits and ceremony. Only those, we are assured, who have
attended a bee in a log house in pioneer days know the genuine
fun and pleasure enjoyed by the participants. Absence of crime
or immorality formed matter for congratulation, but the early
chronicler was forced to confess to the too liberal use of whiskey
at the " bees." Total abstinence was too much to expect, how-
ever, of Scotchmen, or indeed any settlers, in those days of
hardship and cheap untaxed whiskey.

" When I became a magistrate," said Squire George Munro,
" I used to go away to the woods when I heard there was a fight
at a bee, and keep away till the blood cooled down, and that
generally ended the matter."

In later days, when advancing age made it more difficult for the
good " Squire" to conveniently absent himself when his magis-
terial services were required, he was accustomed to deliver a
preliminary homily at the inception of all trials upon the necessity
of " reconceeliation " between neighbours desirous of dwelling
together on terms of amity, which often produced the desired

Evidence is, however, extant to show that even " Squire
Munro " was not above indulging in a frolic in those earlier and
ruder days when a frolic and a fracas might be deemed inter-
changeable terms.

The New Year's ball was in those days the event of the year


and the largest house, possessing- a good floor, the scene of the
festivities. When the settlement had spread a few miles from the
lake a rivalry among the young people resulted in two balls being
arranged for the same New Year's night, the one on Talbot street
and the other on the Back street, George Munro being manager
of the latter. The settlement possessed but one piper, Patterson,
skilled in the requisite dance music hence his presence was a
sine qua non to the success of either event. Munro secured the
piper for five shillings. Archie Gillies, for Talbot street, went a
shilling better in his offer, but the piper declined to break his
contract with Munro ; whereupon Archie, a powerful man, seized
and carried him to John Gillies' tavern, where the piper remained
a prisoner several days, awaiting the advent of the New Year.
When this became known to the youth of the Back street, they
held a council of war to devise a way of obtaining possession of
the piper and his pipes. As a result twenty of the northern
clansmen met and marched to the vicinity of the tavern, where
the greater number hid in the woods, while George Munro with
three others walked into the bar and called for drinks, which
Munro paid for, with an additional coin for a drink for the piper,
whom he asked should be allowed to drink with them. Archie
Gillies and several others of his party being present, the landlord
granted the request, the piper was produced and his thirst
quenched. Another call for drinks, coupled with a request that
the piper be allowed to enliven their departure by a skreel of the
pipes was also acquiesced in, and the room being small for a piper
to march to the music with becoming dignity, he was allowed
outside for the purpose. Now stealthily crept the clansmen from
their hiding places toward their prey, the shades of evening and
the shrill notes of the pipes preventing their approach being either
seen or heard. A moment and it was all over, and victory was
theirs ! The piper, seized by two strong men, was lifted to their
shoulders and borne swiftly into the forest, while the pipes, with
a parting wail, became silent. Munro, jubilant at the success of
his strategy, quickly followed, while Gillies and his friends,
recognizing the odds against them, held back and there was no
dance on Talbot street that New Year's night. Most of the lads


and lasses followed the piper to the Back street ball and Munro's
victory was complete.

George Munro succeeded Peter McKellar as the second self-
taught doctor of the neighbourhood. McKellar's sovereign
remedy for the fevers, which were very prevalent, was an incision
of his knife to bleed the patient and little wonder is it that 14
deaths in one week in 1820 are recorded but Munro lived to the
days of quinine and acknowledged no superior in medicine, save
Dr. Travers of Fingal. At harvest time, when fevers were
prevalent, so busy was he in visiting the sick by day that he is
said to have cradled his wheat by moonlight. Munro was one of
the early school teachers also, receiving two bushels of wheat per
scholar, which he sold at thirty-seven cents per bushel ; in addition
to which, he received a government grant of $50, which munificent
grant was subsequently reduced as schools increased and to
draw it, he had to walk to Long Point, a distance of 90 miles.

Colonel Talbot had not a more loyal and staunch friend among
the settlers and their descendants than George Munro, who spoke
and wrote of the founder of the settlement in terms of the deepest
reverence and admiration. These feelings were, however, by no
means shared by all the Scotch settlers. That the Colonel was
an aristocrat and an arbitrary ruler was enough to arouse the
prejudices of some. That he sold them lands which had cost him
little or no money ; or if, having received a free grant of fifty
acres, the settler was obliged to purchase what further land he
was able to acquire, while the Colonel drew 150 acres for every
settler upon 50 acres, appeared to them unjust and embittered
their minds.

The case appears to have stood as follows : By the terms of
Lord Hobart's order Colonel Talbot was to receive a grant of
5,000 acres in Yarmouth, or such other unappropriated township
as he should select. The 5,000 acres were granted him at Port
Talbot, in Dunwich. A proportion of the townships immediately
contiguous was to be reserved to enable him to draw 200 acres
for every family he might induce to settle there provided he
should have surrendered 50 acres of his original grant to each
family for which he might claim, and that such family should at


the time be established in the actual possession of the said fifty
acres. Now this at first sight would seem to contemplate the
breaking up of the Colonel's original grant of 5,000 acres into
50-acre lots upon each of which a family would be established, he
then to be entitled to draw at the rate of 200 acres for each such
family, as his reward, from the adjacent townships. One hundred
would thus be the maximum number of families, to be settled
in one compact settlement about Port Talbot, and 20,000 acres
the maximum of the grants to be made to the Colonel from the
adjoining townships.

This was not Colonel Talbot's construction of the order, nor his
scheme of settlement. His idea appears to have been to retain a
considerable proportion, if not the whole of his original 5,000
acres, as an estate where he might dwell in comparative seclusion,
while the settlers might be placed throughout the adjacent town-
ships upon 5o-acre lots, thus opening up the country and providing
roads for travel and commerce, and incidentally enhancing the
value of the remaining 150 acres of each aoo-acre lot, which he
would be entitled to retain for himself. From the standpoint o
the general public interest, apart from that of either Talbot or of
the individual settler, the Colonel's arrangement would seem best
for the needs of the country, inasmuch as a settlement spread
throughout the townships, with connecting roads, would be more
beneficial to the country at large than one compact isolated
settlement. This probably accounts for the provincial govern-
ment's not appearing to have objected to the manner in which the
Colonel located his settlers, after it was decided by Earl Bathurst
that he was restricted to 20,000 acres of free grants. These free
grants, as has been seen, were to be made entirely from the town-
ships of Dunwich and Aldborough. In the other townships the
Colonel acted merely as government agent, though with well nigh
absolute powers.

It was, however, to the fact that Colonel Talbot received free
grants at all for forming the settlement, rather than the mode of
locating them, that the Scotch settlers objected. It was but
natural that they should regard it as anomalous that he should
have 150 acres for every 50 acres bestowed on an actual settler,


and that their labour should inevitably have the effect of
enhancing" the value of his unimproved lands. They overlooked
the fact that they might, by going into any of the other town-
ships, have received a free grant of 100 acres. It has by some
been said that the Colonel refused them this privilege. Talbot
himself gave as one reason for placing them together in a settle-
ment by themselves, their common language and the inconvenience
to themselves which would arise from separation.

Colonel Talbot has by some been thought to have been
prejudiced against the Scotch, but the only evidence of it which
the writer has found is contained in a letter to Commissioner
Robinson, written in 1831, in which, speaking of a projected new
road, he said : " My advice is that you should, as much as
possible, avoid placing Highland Scotch settlers upon it, as of all
descriptions they make the worst settlers on new roads English
are the best." His own countrymen, it will be observed, are not
placed in the front rank. The fact, however, appears to have
been that, through the British Consul at New York, Mr. Buchanan,
and Andrew McNab, civil engineer, and brother-in-law of Peter
McKellar, Colonel Talbot sought for and obtained an influx of
Highland Scotch settlers into Dunwich and Aldborough.

That the Colonel was looked upon as an autocrat and a Tory
was enough to arouse the resentment of some, and when a Mr.
Black, presumably for political purposes, persuaded many that
Colonel Talbot was withholding from them 150 acres, which really
belonged to themselves, they became his active opponents and
marched to the poll, headed by a piper, to record their votes
against Burwell and Bostwick, the candidates the Colonel was
supposed to favour.

Henry Coyne, the Belfast Irishman already mentioned, was
also one of the Colonel's leading opponents in Dunwich, and con-
tinued a consistent opposition to his administration throughout
his life. He had five sons, who naturally imbibed his Liberal
principles, which have indeed continued to the third and fourth

Leslie Patterson and his brother-in-law, John Pearce, and the
other earliest settlers of " Little Ireland " were, however, as


staunch and true to the interests of Colonel Talbot and to the
Tory party as others were inimical. It was Patterson who
covered the Colonel's retreat down the hill and across the creek
when one of the marauding 1 parties of Americans and Indians
visited Port Talbot, and saved him being fired upon, as already
mentioned, and guarded the place for some time in its owner's
absence. Patterson was a militia captain then, but was promoted
to a Colonelcy at the time of the rebellion of 1837. He and his
friends and neighbours, the Backus's, the Pearces and Storys and
others of " Little Ireland," gave no uncertain sound at election
times though Colonel Talbot himself being a legislative coun-
cillor, who never, however, took his seat never voted, nor did
he, except on one occasion hereafter referred to, address political



ACROSS Kettle Creek, upon the rolling' uplands of Southwold, just
west of St. Thomas, lies a succession of fine farms, commanding
beautiful views of the neighbouring city and country. One of
these farms, lot forty-one, south of Talbot road, now owned and
occupied by the Treadwell family, was originally settled by John
Rolph, the eldest son of Dr. Thomas Rolph, to whose hospitable
home in the township of Charlotteville reference has already been
made. Abraham King, an employee, who accompanied the
family from England, settled on the adjoining lot to the west, in
Southwold, where his son, David King-, still resides a venerable

The Rolphs came from Thornbury, in Gloucestershire, England,
where the father had been a surgeon, when John, the eldest of
four sons and several daughters, was born on 4th March, 1793.
The family came to this country previous to 1810, and made their
home at first in Lower Canada, and afterward near Vittoria, in
Charlotteville in the Long Point settlement. Of the other sons
Romaine became a clergyman of the Chnrch of England in Cana-
da ; Thomas, a clergyman, lived and died in England, while George
became a lawyer, practising at Dundas. One daughter, Sarah,
became the wife of George Ryerson, and another, Emma, married
William (afterwards Judge) Salmon, son of Colonel Salmon who
came from the same part of England as the Rolphs after the
family made their home in the Long Point country. The first
mentioned match being opposed by the young lady's parents
either owing to the youthfulness of the couple or what not an
elopement down a ladder, if not of ropes, of good Long Point


timber, took place, the upper window of exit being still pointed
out as an object of historic interest at least it was a few years
since, to the writer's knowledge.

A day came before the close of the war, in 1814, when the
spirit of the elder Dr. Rolph took its flight as he reposed quietly
on his sofa, and the care of a large family devolved upon the
eldest son and his brothers. A desire to bring about an alliance
by marriage between Colonel Talbot and some one of the
daughters of the family has been attributed to Dr. John Rolph,
but this conjecture seems to rest on no more solid foundation than
the fact that the Colonel, a bachelor of more than forty years of
age, while in command at Long Point in 1812 had been brought
into close contact with the Rolphs and no doubt had enjoyed
their hospitality ; for there is ample evidence that the Colonel,
though a confirmed bachelor, was by no means unappreciative of
cultivated female society. John Rolph, it is true, had taken up
land subsequently at no great distance from Port Talbot, and was
a frequent visitor there, but all this may be attributed to other
motives than that referred to though a desire to promote the
welfare of one's family by an advantageous marriage has never
been regarded as reprehensible.

We have seen, however, that gossip had associated the name
of the Colonel's brother William with the Rolphs and that the
possibility of an alliance had been canvassed, even at so great a
distance as York, and that Governor Gore's secretary, Major
Halton, had offered to promote such alliance by dispossessing
Sovereen of the office of surrogate and conferring it upon the
anticipated bridegroom Sovereen having, to the secretary's
disgust, failed to return thanks when his commission was handed
him. William Talbot, it may be observed, was the only one of
the Colonel's brothers unprovided with either a profession or
commission in the army or navy. He was then on a visit to
Canada, which he soon left, proceeding subsequently to Australia,
where, after getting into some trouble with a governor of that
colony, he died.

Though evidence of any design upon the part of John Rolph as
a matchmaker is lacking, he without doubt ingratiated himself


both with the Colonel and the settlers with other objects in view,
in some of which he ultimately succeeded. He was a young" man
of smooth and persuasive tongue and manner, and though not tall
in stature, possessed a handsome and engaging countenance. His
letter to Colonel Talbot announcing his father's death, the corres-
pondence and documents regarding the establishment of the
Talbot anniversary, to be presently referred to, and his letter
regarding the establishment of the "Talbot Dispensatory" (all to
be found in the appendices) afford evidence at once of his some-
what florid style and of his reverence whether actual or assumed
for Colonel Talbot.

It was in 1817 that the Talbot anniversary was inaugurated.
By that time the settlers had sufficiently recovered from the
ravages of the war to be able to indulge themselves and their
families with a festival. The idea once mooted, it was not
unnatural that they should concur in fixing upon the 2ist May,
the anniversary of the commencement by Colonel Talbot of his
settlement, as the day when they should meet together to show
their respect and gratitude to its founder and for social enjoyment.

No better illustration of the adroitness and astuteness of John
Rolph, the budding politician of 24 years of age, could probably
be given, than the clever manner in which he managed to take
the lead in a popular movement originated no doubt by himself
to please Colonel Talbot and most of his friends, and at the
same time draw the Colonel's confidential friend, Colonel Burwell,
the member of parliament, into a position of apparent hostility to
his friend and chief supporter and his loyal settlers, and incite the
latter to pass a vote of censure publicly upon their member.
Though Major Nevills was the nominal secretary, the hand of John
Rolph is apparent throughout the correspondence and proceedings

The preliminary meeting was held in March, 1817, an address
adopted and forwarded to Colonel Talbot, a gracious reply
received, and on 2ist May of the same year, the first Talbot
anniversary was held at Dr. Lee's hotel in Yarmouth, close to St.
Thomas, attended by seventy-five persons a large gathering in
those days of small things, when the state of the settlement and
the difficulties of travel are considered.


Colonel Mahlon Burwell had represented the electoral district of
Oxford and Middlesex since its first election of a member in 1813.
Prior to that time the greater part of the Talbot settlement had
been embraced in the London electoral district, of which Mr.
(afterwards Sir) D. W. Smith and the notorious Benajah Mallory
had been the representatives successively.

Mr. Burwell, who was a native of New Jersey, was employed,
as has been seen, in much of the early surveying of the district
and had settled near Port Talbot at the point known as Burwell's
Corners, on the town line of Dunwich and Southwold, where the
Registry office was established in 1811. Mr. Burwell was a man
of integrity, tall and of dignified appearance, and was valued by
Colonel Talbot for his professional knowledge and general useful-
ness. He possessed little of the suavity which characterized John
Rolph, but was naturally imperious, self-willed and opinionated.
He had begun to suspect Rolph of designs to supplant him and
this no doubt led to his writing the apparently impolitic address
which he issued " to the people of Talbot road " in opposition to
the Talbot anniversary (see appendix.) When the anniversary
took place a month later, resolutions were unanimously adopted
condemning Colonel Burwell's interference as "unbecoming,"
"indelicate," " obtrusive " and "disrespectful," both to Colonel
Talbot and the people.

It is to Colonel Talbot's credit that he seems to have taken no
notice of Colonel Burwell's part in this matter. While he was on
friendly terms with Rolph and gratified by the settlers' desire to
.do him honour and joined annually in the festival with evident
zest and enjoyment, he continued his former relations with
Colonel Burwell and lent him all his accustomed support in
succeeding elections. If Rolph's design was to create a breach
between them, it was apparently not successful. Colonel Burwell
was re-elected for Oxford and Middlesex, as was Colonel Nichol
for Norfolk, in 1817, and the former for Middlesex alone in 1820.
It was not until 1824 that he was defeated by Dr. Rolph and
Captain Matthews, who was called forth by an act passed on
motion of Burwell himself, under which the representation of
Middlesex was doubled.


Shortly after the inauguration of the Talbot anniversary, John
Rolph had proceeded to England, and during 1818 and 1819
pursued his studies there at, Cambridge, and subsequently at
London, where he resumed his law studies in the Inner Temple,
where he had been admitted a student in 1809. He was called to
the bar of the Inner Temple ist June, 1821. His father's example
and training, no doubt, induced him to pursue the study of
medicine and surgery as well, which he did under Sir Astley
Cooper. The practice of law and medicine or surgery by one
and the same practitioner was not an unknown combination
in the province of Upper Canada in that day, when, as one
writer has put it, leading counsel were sometimes called
from the court-room in York to attend at the ushering into
the world of some one of the province's leading citizens of a later
day. That Dr. Rolph attained some distinction at the bar and
enduring fame as a teacher of medical jurisprudence is a tribute at
once to his versatility and pre-eminent ability. He had also at
one time studied for the church in England. Sir John Colborne,
when governor of the province, who could have had little sympathy
with Rolph's political views, nevertheless recognized his ability
and attainments by seeking to place him at the head of a college
at the capital, while Mr. (afterwards Sir Francis) Hincks once
wrote of him, " he was the most talented and highly educated
man in the province and there was never a man less likely to be
influenced by pecuniary considerations." The Rolph School of
medicine, affiliated wirh Victoria University, and subsequently
merged in Toronto University, rose to eminence and great
usefulness under his superintendence. Of his career at the bar
not so much is known, as it terminated in 1828, when he and the
two Baldwins are described as having thrown off their gowns and
retired from court, owing to the view they took of the treatment
of Mr. Justice Willis by Mr. Justice Sherwood Rolph never to
return but that he had at one time an extensive practice in the
west the records of the courts affirm.

Doubtless it was the gracious reception given by Colonel
Talbot to the proposition for the inauguration of the Talbot
anniversary and the success of that annual festival which led Dr.


Rolph to hope for a like reception and similar success for his
proposal of a Talbot Dispensatory, or school for medical instruc-
tion at St. Thomas, to be combined with a hospital, where free
medical advice was to be given weekly. In fact the doctor cited,
in his letter to the Colonel outlining' his scheme, the former
success as a precedent for the latter.

" Everything that is great and useful should begin in the
Talbot settlement under your auspices," wrote Rolph in com-
mencing his letter to Colonel Talbot (see Appendix D) detailing
the plans of Dr. Charles Duncombe and himself regarding the
" Talbot Dispensatory " and again : "This institution, like the
Talbot anniversary, will, under your patronage, be supported with
equal zeal."

Remembering that all is considered fair in politics, as in love or
war, it is difficult to withstand the impression, notwithstanding
protests to the contrary contained in the letter, and the fact that
the Conservative candidates and some of their friends were named
in it for office, that the two astute Liberal doctors had in view, as
part at all events of their scheme, the conciliation of the Colonel
and his settlers for the advantage of Rolph in the election
then coming on for the reference toward the close of the letter
to the " concourse of the election " as a fitting time, under the
patronage of the Colonel and the conjunction of the candidates, to
commence the movement for the school and Dispensatory with
advantage, give an impetus to public feeling and receive subscrip-
tions in kind, clearly points to the election of 1824 as approaching.
Colonel Burwell, it is true, was suggested for president, but
without visitorial power and " with privileges ascertained by the
by-laws," which privileges, it may be surmised, would be few.
Dr. Duncombe was to call and learn Colonel Talbot's pleasure,
and the latter seems to have been gracious enough to comply with
the request for his patronage for the opening course of lectures of
the " medical school at St. Thomas in the Talbot settlement and
under the immediate patronage of the Hon. Colonel Talbot," by
Charles Duncombe, on " The Theory and Practice of Medicine,"
and John Rolph on " Anatomy and Physiology," was announced
by advertisement in William Lyon McKenzie's paper, the Colonial


Advocate^ in August immediately following the election, which was
held in July. This announcement possibly indicates that Dr.
Rolph had more than political advantage in his thoughts if
the latter was contemplated at all in launching this, the
first medical college in the province, of which unfortunately
nothing further is recorded. It was but the precursar of the
Rolph school already referred to as merged in Toronto University.
Its functions, no doubt, were chiefly confined to the free weekly
medical advice spoken of in the letter to Colonel Talbot.

William Lyon McKenzie was present on the nomination day at
this election and wrote a graphic description of the proceedings.
The hustings were on a high and well chosen spot near the church
(then being erected) in St. Thomas. Mr. Warren, the returning
officer, " a genteel youth," cut a fine figure, dressed in blue, with
his sword appended to his side. Colonel Talbot and the candi-
dates were with him on the hustings, while five or six hundred
people listened to the reading of the writ and subsequent speeches
and McKenzie wound up the proceedings by addressing the
electors from his waggon at considerable length. Burwell's
address, but for an ebulition of temper toward the close, and of
course those of Dr. Rolph and Captain Matthews, were com-
mended. Rolph was still the lawyer, as well as doctor, for,
waxing warm at one point, he began a sentence with " gentlemen
of the jury," but quickly recollected himself and concluded with
" some handsome and well merited compliments to the Honourable
Colonel Talbot, the noble founder of the settlement." Bostwick
did not speak.

Colonel Talbot, soon after the business of the day began, retired
from the hustings, mounted his horse and remained among the
multitude. " He could not but be highly gratified," wrote
McKenzie, " with the delicate compliments that were paid him as
the founder and father of the country, as its friend and liberal
benefactor. The honourable gentleman is in general well beloved
by the people," he added, referring to the last Talbot anniversary,
at which 300 or 400 persons had been addressed by the Colonel,
Mr. Rolph replying for the company.

Mr. McKenzie's impressions of Colonel Talbot at this time will be


From " Illustrated London " (Copyrighted) by p -rinixsi


l'~>-om a fainting in l8j6.

at the age of Jo.


of interest and justify the following further extract from his article :

" He is, without doubt, a man of eccentric habits, but many of the stories
that are current in the country respecting his manner of living have no
foundation in truth. He was, when I saw him, dressed in a plain blue surtout
coat and trousers ; there was nothing fanciful about his dress or horse
furniture, save an Indian blanket, which was wrapped up like a horseman's
cloak and fastened behind the saddle ; his air is that of a military officer of
distinction, insomuch that had he not been pointed out to me, I should have
set him down in my own mind as a person of some consequence. In youth
he must have possessed a handsome person and well formed features ; for
even now, and he is nearly sixty years of age, his features have nothing
harsh, and his appearance is prepossessing. I have seen him, I like him,
and I hope his children, for so may he call the settlers in Middlesex, will teach
their little ones to revere him as Pater Patrice, the father of his country."

Alas ! when McKenzie re-published this article, some ten years
years or so later, in England, in his book of Sketches of Canada,
the last sentence and many of the complimentary references to
Colonel Talbot preceding it were omitted. He liked him no longer.

Captain Matthews, who was with Rolph elected, was a retired
officer of artillery, who settled at first at Queenston and subse-
quently migrated to the bush in Lobo, with a retinue of nearly 30
persons, family and servants, " with six waggons, one cart, 24
horses, a flock of sheep and some cows." After the election he
was escorted to his residence in Lobo (a distance of 20 or 30
miles) by the members elect of Oxford, by his fellow-member, Dr.
Rolph, by the chairman of the Court of Quarter Sessions, and,
according to a correspondent of McKenzie's, " by as gallant, as
numerous and independent a troop of honest, honourable and
loyal men as perhaps ever travelled that distance together."
Matthews became of dissipated habits, was somewhat of a
demagogue and got into trouble at York in consequence, as here-
after mentioned. His residence was on a height on the north side
of the Thames in Lobo, and on both sides of the river he had an
estate of some two thousand acres. He possessed what was then
considered an extensive library.

Rolph and Matthews were re-elected in 1828,* but in 1830

*Burwell, in a letter to Hon. T. Ridout, wrote of this election : " Our


Colonel Mahlon Burwell was once more and for the last time
returned for Middlesex, in company with Roswell Mount. He
was defeated again in 1834 and in 1836 became the first repre-
sentative of the town of London in parliament.

Colonel Burwell's ambition may be judged by the names he
conferred upon his sons Alexander, Hercules, Isaac Brock,
Hannibal, Leonidas, John Walpole and Edward as well as by
his application in 1829 to government to exchange 10,000 acres
in detached parcels for a grant en bloc on Lake Huron of 10,000
acres, to be an entailed estate for his own family. The exchange
was not effected. Hercules succeeded him as registrar at London,
to which place the Registry office was removed about 1842 from
Burwell's Corners. Leonidas, a quiet and unobtrusive though
popular member, was the only one of the sons who entered public
life. He represented East Elgin for some ten years in the Liberal
interest in the united parliament of Canada, and lived at Port
Burwell. A church at that village, endowed by Colonel Burwell
with 600 acres, in addition to a gift of 100 acres to the diocese of
Toronto, testify to his generosity and his attachment to the
Church of England.

Dr. John Rolph in 1832 sold his farm in Southwold, and in
1834 Mr. (afterwards Sir James) Innes, a Scotch gentleman,
brother-in-law to James Blackwood, well-known in St. Thomas
and Dunwich, purchased it. The old-fashioned, homelike, low
brick building, now upon the property, replaced Rolph's original
log house at this period. Having succeeded to a Baronetcy in
Scotland, Sir James Innes in 1839 sold the property and returned
home. His case had a parallel in that of another Scotchman,
who some twenty years later purchased a neighbouring farm on
the London and Port Stanley road in Yarmouth, which he named
" Glenbanner,"whereon he resided with his mother and sisters
until they returned to Scotland, where Mr. George Bannerman
became Sir George Bannerman, Baronet.

election lasted six days. When the poll closed the votes stood : For Rolph,
340 ; Matthews, 317; Burwell, 305; Hamilton, 275; Matthews 12 over me,
and many of my friends not allowed time to vote, although returned to the
poll two or three times for that purpose."



THE Talbot anniversary, established, as has been seen in 1817,
continued an annual event of prime importance in the settlement
for more than twenty years. Held at first in Yarmouth, it was
after the first year or two always celebrated at St. Thomas, except
at the last, when it was held in London.

The fullest indeed it may be said almost the only account
extant of the festivity, as it was celebrated year after year, is
contained in Edward Ermatinger's Life of Colonel Talbot, from
which the. following extract is taken :

" In the first years of this celebration, the Talbot anniversary was com-
memorated in a style of rustic conviviality, the company being composed
almost exclusively of men who had chopped out their own fortunes and of
women fit to rear their hardy sons and daughters. Among these the Colonel
never failed to appear to share in the joy of the occasion, and invariably led
off the first dance, even at the advanced age of three score and ten years.

" On the 2ist of May in each year the back woodsman abandoned his toil,
threw by his axe, and took his partner under his arm to the anniversary. The
ample board groaned under such substantial fare as the settlement could
afford, and after the cloth was removed, a hundred rustic voices responded to
the King's health. 'The day and all who honour it' elicited a stentorian
shout, which made the welkin ring, and the ' Hon. Thomas Talbot, the
founder of the Talbot settlement,' was drowned in bumpers amidst deafening

"When the storm of voices had subsided, the honoured guest, Colonel
Talbot, rose amidst the rattle of the table, the jingling of bottles and glasses,
startled by such vigorous thumps as men daily exercised in wielding the axe
only could give, and with manly pride peering through his bright eyes,
returned thanks in a neat, short speech, always concluding in the most
affectionate and emphatic manner ' God bless you all.'


" After the dinner was concluded and all the loyal toasts had been gone
through with, the ball commenced. Then it was that the rustic youth bowed
to the blooming- lass whom he selected for his partner, and soon the lightsome
reel, the country dance or the cotillion employed the legs, while the arms
enjoyed a holiday ; the lads amusing themselves ever and anon, clipping
something in the style of the Spanish fandango to cheer up the dance. But
in progress of time, as the population became less homogeneous, and
strangers to the feelings of the early settlers became more numerous, the
spirit of the anniversary was lost. The peasantry found themselves elbowed
out of society, by their consumers, and home-spun grey and blue stockings
had to give place to silks, scarlet and gold, and every variety of fashion !
Instead of showing their partners how to cut the figure of eight, crossing
hands without gloves, casting them off to dance outside and then inside the
row, down the middle and back again, catching a glance of each other
through a long line of broad shoulders, and all this to the inspiring music of
the ' Soldier's Joy,' ' Greig's Pipes' or the ' Triumph,' now they had to look
on with astonishment at the labyrinth of quadrilles, and fill the corners of the
ball-room to avoid being run through by a gallopade, to ' stand round,' as the
phrase goes among farmers, for fear of a soft thump from some charming dear
creature, or of a poke from some moustached Son of Mars, who formed one
pair of a long chain, rapidly whirling each other round to the music of Strauss.
This is no fancied picture. The anniversary was celebrated last during the
two years of the rebellion, when the military had been introduced into the
woods, with a degree of splendour unknown to the Omnium gatherums of
former days. At first the admixture of scarlet and gold and blue and red,
with a corresponding display in the dress of the ladies of the settlement, and
a full military band, discoursing sweet music, dazzled the eye and delighted
the ear. But it was observed that the old settlers dropped off, the anniver-
sary had become too refined for them. The display of military uniforms,
interlaced and surrounded by all the votaries of fashion which the settlement
could produce, were indeed novel sights for them, but the gee and hawing of
quadrilles, waltzing, etc., they had no taste for and they were better pleased
to see their wives and mothers smoking a pipe than the fashionable belle
sniffing a vinaigrette. The original purpose of the anniversary was in a
measure lost sight of, it languished in consequence, and after being kept up
for a quarter of a century, was discontinued."

St. Thomas at the time of the inauguration of the festival in
1817 was no more than a hamlet, chiefly under the hill at the
extreme west end of the present city. The hamlet in the valley
was at one period called Stirling, but as the village crept up the
hill and along the crest of the heights immediately above Kettle
Creek, it acquired the name of St. Thomas, after Thomas Talbot


who has never been otherwise held up as either saint or

As the village grew eastward buildings were erected along
Talbot street which had to be slightly diverted here, to give
them any foothold those on the north side of the road clinging'
to the top and side of the hill by means of timber supports,
robbing- the traveller of a view of great natural beauty, while
presenting anything but a sightly appearance from the London
road or the valley below them. Almost all these buildings have
been destroyed by fire or removed, till but few traces of them
remain. Daniel Rapelje, the original settler on lot one, on the
south side of Talbot street, in Yarmouth the militia captain
already mentioned as having served in the war of 1812 gave a
piece of land for church purposes, and on this, in 1824, was erected
the old St. Thomas church, which for many years formed the
chief architectural ornament of the village and town, as well as
the oldest church edifice in the settlement. The bricks which
formed its walls were made in the valley below and still stand a
monument to the stable character of the pioneer work of those
early days the brick transepts and chancel, less permanently
built, as well as the wooden tower, with its steeple, being added
some years later. The picturesque situation of the church and
churchyard, on a jutting hilltop, where "the rude forefathers of
the hamlet sleep " Daniel Rapelje and members of his family
among the earliest ones have made the time honoured building
a prominent object in the view from the west and south of the
town, to the present time.

Benjamin Drake owned the next township lot, and east of him
again came Archibald McNeal, who gave the land for the Roman
Catholic church and burial ground, then the lots of Jonas Barnes
and Benjamin Wilson, the militia ensign, captain and ultimately
colonel, whose figure on his white mare was a familiar object on
the 4th of June the militia training day. Part of Leslie Pearce's
farm forms the most easterly portion of the present city south of
Talbot street though it, as well as the Barnes and Wilson farms
until more recent years, reached far beyond the confines of the old
town. North of Talbot street, Garret Smith was the owner of the


first lot in Yarmouth, part of which now forms the suburb of
Lynhurst, beyond Kettle Creek. Thomas Curtis and George
Lawrence, and subsequently George Scott, were the land owners
upon whose lands the northern part of the town was built, while
upon the farms of Jacob and Samuel Thompson and John Miller
ultimately grew up the police village of Millersburg, now forming,
with a part of the Mann farm, the north-easterly part of the city.

West of Rapelje's lot, that of his fellow-settler and neighbour,
David Mandeville, extended across the valley of Kettle Creek and
over the hill to the west the first lot in Southwold south of
Talbot street. Captain Richard Drake a militiaman of 1812
had been allotted by Colonel Talbot the lot on the north side of
the street in Southwold, and upon the crest of the hill, long known
as Drake's hill, he built his dwelling near the spot where the
west end of the Michigan Central railway bridge now rests and
here the earliest born native white child of this vicinity, who still
survives, Daniel Drake, first saw light in 1819. Having served
the town meantime for four successive years as mayor, he is, at
the present, an erect octogenarian, whose appearance speaks
volumes for the healthfulness of St. Thomas.

Among the earliest business and professional men of St.
Thomas were Mr. (afterwards the Honourable George J.)
Goodhue, Dr. J. C. Goodhue, Drs. Charles and Elijah Dun-
combe, Hamilton and Warren, the Bigelows and Bela Shaw. Of
these Hon. G. J. Goodhue, who removed to Westminster and
subsequently to London, amassed the largest fortune ; Dr. Charles
Duncombe became a leader in the rebellion of '37 ; James Ham-
ilton a brother of the Hon. John Hamilton of Queenston
became sheriff of Middlesex. Bigelow, the elder, was the pioneer
in the black salts and potash trade,* that early industry which
enabled the settler to obtain his first cash or merchandise ; while
Bela Shaw, his successor in business, an amiable American, with
republican ideas, became in the rebellion years a suspect, and,

*So important had this industry become that William Lyon McKenzie was
in 1826 preparing- for publication a "Treatise on Pot and Pearl Ashes,"
materials for which work he advertised he had been collecting for two years,
and for which he was still inviting information.


after haying* been prosecuted or, as some thought, persecuted
finally left the country.

" The Jews of merchants of the Talbot settlement will make
their fortunes at the expense of my industrious farmers," wrote
Colonel Talbot to the Hon. Peter Robinson in 1830, " having-
given but four Yorkers a bushel for wheat, and Hamilton and
Warren have taken in, I am told, near 20,000 bushels, most part
of which for old debts, on which they no doubt had a profit of 700
per cent." all which goes to illustrate the possibilities of trade in
the early days. This wheat was no doubt all delivered at
Selborne or at Port Stanley, which was then becoming a shipping
port for a considerable commerce.

A reservation for the town of London was made at an early
date, but it remained a town on paper and only partially surveyed
until 1826, when the survey of the town plot was ordered, and
carried out by Colonel Burwell. The surrounding country had in
a measure been settled for some years. There had been settlers,
as has been seen, in Delaware and Westminster before the war.
About 1818 a Talbot settlement within the Talbot settlement an
Imperium in Imperio, so to speak had been begun in London
township by Richard Talbot, a countryman, though not a relative
of Colonel Talbot's, who brought with him from Tipperary
County, Ireland, some thirty settlers,* including his own two
sons, one-half the number being married men. Having obtained
from Colonel Talbot a location ticket for i ,000 acres in a solid
block in the 5th and 6th concessions, and 400 acres more at no
great distance, the settlement of London township began in
earnest. Thomas Carling, father of Sir John Carling, settled on
lot 14, in the 8th concession, in the year 1819. His marriage to

*Their names were as follows, those in italics being- unmarried : Ed-ward
Allen Talbot, John Talbot, William Geeris, Thomas Brooks, Peter Rodgers,
Thomas Guest, Frank Lewis, Benjamin Lewis, William Haskett, William
Mooney, William Evans, William O' Neil, Edmunds Stoney, Joseph O'Brien,
George Foster, Thomas HoTvey, James Ho-wey, John Phalen, Joseph Hardy,
Toseph N. Hardy, John Gray, John Gray, Jr., Foilet Gray, Robert Keys,
Charles Gooding, Robert Ralph, John Gumes, John Sifton, Charles Sifton and
Thomas Howard. They found a Mr. Applegath, who had settled in the
township near the river below the forks, in 1816. Freeman Talbot was a
younger son of Richard Talbot.


Miss Rutledge is said to have been the first celebrated in the
township. Sir John, who was born in 1828, stated on a recent
occasion that owing to the lack of mechanics his father had to
make his boots and his mother to card the wool, spin the yarn
and make his clothes, and that until he was more than ten years
old he had worn nothing- on his back but that which his father
and mother made. The long and distinguished career of the son
of these industrious old settlers, who happily still survives them,
belongs chiefly to the last half century, rather than the period
dealt with in these annals. Other parts of the country about
London contained scattered settlers, but the town itself was not
begun. The coming of the courts, however, gave it its first
impetus. This leads to a few words of retrospect.

The courts for the western district (originally the district of
Hesse) were held at Detroit, where the land board also sat, and
after the evacuation of Detroit by the British, at Sandwich, until
1800, when the district of London was formed of the counties of
Norfolk, Oxford and Middlesex, with certain other territory. A
Commission of the Peace was issued and courts held for the first
three or four years at the house of James Munro in Charlotteville,
after which a frame two-story building was erected at Turkey
Point as a court house, and here the courts were held until the
war of 1812, when the place was occupied for military purposes.

Many interesting facts appear in the court records of this
period. Moveable stocks and whipping post were erected for the
district the very first year (1800) and the records indicate that
both were made use of. But it was not until after the erection
of the court house at Turkey Point that " in order to maintain the
dignity of the court it was decided to procure 12 staves for the
constables of the district, the staves to be seven feet in length and
one and three-quarter inches in thickness, with the name of each
township on each staff in plain legible letters." Samuel Ryerse
as chairman of Quarter Sessions, William Spurgin, Peter Teeple,
John Beemer, John Backhouse and Wynant Williams are the
magistrates, whose names, with those of Thomas Welch, Clerk of
the Peace, most frequently occur in the court records of those
days. Colonel Talbot attended once only, in 1806.


After the war a brick court house was erected at Vittoria at a
cost of ^9,000, which was occupied until 1826, when it was
partially destroyed by fire, through the carelessness of a school-
master, who held his school in the building. Being compelled to
cut the cordwood supplied him probably in payment of his pupils'
fees he preferred reducing it by a gradual process of burning
over night, the sticks being inserted into the stove with the door
left open. This was more in accord, he considered, with the
dignity of his profession than sawing it himself, while to hire some-
one to do it was probably beyond his means. The result, unfor-
tunately, he did not foresee. A log, having burned through, the
protruding brand dropped out during the night on the wooden
floor and set fire to the building a costly one for those days.

A fine site for a court house and gaol had been laid out,
between the church and present court house square, at St.
Thomas, *but the district capital was, by statute, passed in 1826,
removed to London. The passing over of St. Thomas was
charged against Colonel Burwell, who had suffered defeat at the
election of the previous year, chiefly through the votes of con-
stituents along the Talbot road. However this may have been,
the statute authorized ^"4,000 to be raised for the erection of
necessary buildings, at London and Colonels Talbot and Burwell,
James Hamilton, Charles Ingersoll and John Matthews, of Lobo,
the commissioners, met at St. Thomas the first Monday in March,
to organize and carry out the new arrangements, and in the same
month plans and estimates were advertised for, to be received by
Hon. Thomas Talbot by ist June. A square or space of not less
than four acres was directed to be laid out in the town plot of
London, surveyed the same year by Colonel Burwell. A tempor-
ary court house was at first erected.

" The building was constructed of flat logs," said Garrett Oakes,
of Yarmouth, in his pioneer sketches, in reference to this tem-
porary building, " and on the ground floor was a log partition to
separate the gaol from the gaoler's room. The court room above
was reached by stairs outside. As soon as the house was roofed,

*Mr. Tiffany had also, by 1825, laid out the village of Delaware for a
district capital.


William Parke, the old Vittoria gaoler, removed to London to
assume his office in the new building, and I assisted him to
finish the court room in a rough manner, as a makeshift until the
new court house should be ready for occupation. In the year
1828 I attended court in London."

Meantime the district possessed a duly appointed judge, James
Mitchell, a former schoolmaster of the Long Point district, while
J. B. Askin had become the Clerk of the Peace in succession to
Thomas Welch, and John B. Harris, the treasurer, Dan Millard
having been the first occupant of that office. These officials for
some time perambulated to and from Vittoria and London, when
the courts were first held at the latter place, but Mr. Askin and
Mr. Harris at length removed their families to the new district

The new permanent court house, which was and still is, though
somewhat remodelled, so familiar a feature, upon the bank over-
looking the forks of the Thames in the west end of the town, was
said to have been designed in imitation of Castle Malahide,
Colonel Talbot's birthplace similarity of style and outline lending
the colour of truth to the tradition, while the fact that the other
commissioners authorized Colonel Talbot to procure the plans,
further confirms it.

While St. Thomas, where the Talbot anniversary was still held,
was laid out upon the lands of the original settlers already
mentioned, who disposed of the town lots London, in which the
civil offices were now placed to be followed ere many years by
the military headquarters and by the anniversary itself was laid
out, as has been seen, by government and the lots disposed of by
Colonel Talbot as government agent. This was all in accordance
with Governor Simcoe's original idea, though in a modified form.
Henceforth London began to grow apace.


FARMING IN 1825-6.

THAT Colonel Talbot was, from the earliest years of the settle-
ment, desirous of promoting farming- operations after the most
approved advanced methods, is evidenced by the fact that as early
as the year 1810 he was in correspondence with friends at home
with reference to certain threshing- machines then in use in
England. The Colonel was desirous of obtaining a drawing of
one of the machines so that he might have one constructed, if
possible. He was advised that it was rather too complicated for
a drawing to sufficiently explain, and a model would be too
expensive, and that his best plan would be to purchase a threshing
machine, to be worked by hand, " which are to be had exceed-
ingly good for 20 guineas at Mr. McDougal's, in Coventry Street,
Haymarket, London," wrote his informant. " One of these will
thresh at the rate of twenty bands of oats and eight bands of
wheat per day, and though made to be worked by men, can at a
trifling expense be made to go by horses or by water. From one
of these small ones one of the largest size can be readily made."

It was deemed either impracticable or too expensive, and the
flail continued to be used on the Colonel's farm, though another
less laborious method was practised by some of the settlers, as
will presently appear.

Though the Colonel's desire to introduce threshing machines in
the very early days was not fulfilled, nevertheless in 1848, within
a few miles of Port Talbot, at Fingal, one of the most extensive
manufactories of threshing machines in Canada in its day, was
established and carried on for half a century and yielded handsome


competences to Messrs. MacPherson, Glasgow and Hovey,* its
proprietors, until its destruction by fire some years since, when,
owing to want of shipping facilities at Fingal, and other causes,
it was not re-built, but the business transferred to a branch
factory already established at Clinton.

In October, 1824, James Pickering, an intelligent, experienced
and observant English farmer from Buckinghamshire, having met
with reverses at home, sailed for America to better his fortunes.
Landing at Baltimore, after a sixty-five days' voyage, he sought
employment there, as also at Philadelphia, New York and
Albany, but failing to obtain such a situation as he looked for,
and having heard in Pennsylvania and elsewhere of people going
to Upper Canada to take up land, he proceeded by the Erie Canal
to Buffalo, and thence into Canada. On returning to England
five years later, Pickering published an emigrant's guide book, in
which he recorded his observations in Canada in the form of a
diary. As the book is now rare, and the author's observations
are close and often shrewd, some extracts from those parts
relating to the Talbot settlement and Colonel Talbot, in whose
employment he was during a great part of the time he remained
in the settlement, will be of interest, especially to farmers.

Pickering had been directed, he said, to Colonel Talbot with a
view to having a " lot," and at the close of July, 1825, he reached
Talbot street, which he described as having houses on each side,
at about one-fourth of a mile distance from each other, or about
eight in a mile, one on each lot of 200 acres.

" This lower part of Talbot street," wrote Pickering, who, it
may be observed, was punctilious as to the proper use of the
English language, " is on a bank of sand or pine ridge, of barren
soil. There is some good land on each side of this ridge, but
rather flat and swampy. Three parts of the houses are empty,
the inhabitants having ' cleared out ' for better land I ' guess '
but those that remain say in consequence of ' sickness ' (illness).
Stop often to get a drink of water or buttermilk, and inquire

"Matthias Hovey, the last surviving' member of this firm, died at St.
Thomas in 1903, at the advanced age of 87 years. He brought the art of
making separators originally from Lockport, N. Y.


about the country. A person is always welcome in every house
to rest himself and need not hesitate to ask any question, as he
will be answered generally without reserve. A stout, jovial and
rather liberal Yankee working miller, who had been in the province
three years, overtook me to-day, going to "draw" land of the
Colonel, so we travelled on together. On first coming into the
wilderness it is rather depressing to the spirits ; but the mind soon
recovers by the cheerfulness and absence of discontent in the
settlers, and the prospect, although at first perhaps slow, yet
certain, of growing prosperity. From the two Otter Creeks and
the Catfish to Kettle Creek the land appears pretty good, of
sandy and clayey loams, but in some places is much broken by
ravines and gulleys. We arrived at the new small village of St.
Thomas, rather pleasantly situated on the banks of Kettle Creek ;
it has a church, two taverns, a mill, two stores, and an academy,
etc. ; and on July 3Oth we arrived at Colonel Talbot's. As the
Colonel takes no fee for his trouble in giving out government
land, and people are continually going to him for information
respecting new lots to draw (choose), as well as exchanging them
(sometimes repeatedly) for others, it cannot be surprising that he
should sometimes assume a severity of manner not natural to him,
to prevent vexatious applications. The house in which the
Colonel lives is situated on the banks of the lake, upwards of 100
feet high, and commands a fine view of the banks and shore of
Lake Erie for twenty miles down, and also the Colonel's creek,
winding through the ' flats ' below. The Colonel was not at home
when we arrived, but soon returned, and after procuring a list of
some vacant lots of land thirty miles above, we proceeded
forward from Port Talbot."

After prospecting in the townships of Orford, Howard and
Harwich, Pickering returned to Port Talbot and was recommended
to await the return of the survey of Orford from the land office
at York, and in the meantime was engaged as Colonel Talbot's
foreman, or farm overseer. Here are some of his observations
as to the state of the Colonel's farm, etc. :

"The Colonel's wheat and oat crops fair, the peas good, but too dry for
potatoes and corn.


" Aug. 14 ' Hauling' peas, that is, drawing them on waggons to the stack.

" Aug. 16 Rain all day with the wheat in the field for want of hands, the
harvest in the neighbourhood being nearly all finished for the year. The
Colonel has about 150 sheep, shut up in a pen at night to preserve them from
the wolves (this is not done in old settlements) ; they are of various breeds,
some with and some without horns ; twenty-five milch cows ; four yoke of
oxen, broken in, besides one yoke killed this fall ; fifty or sixty head of young
cattle, which run in the woods all summer ; twenty-three weanling calves ;
four horses, of the nag kind, with uncut long tails, the only sort in this
country, and are generally pretty good, but want a little more blood ; four
sows and a number of store pigs, which also get their living in the woods
through the summer, and during the winter, when there are plenty of nuts and
acorns. Fattened forty-two hogs this fall in an open pen, with peas given
them on the ground and water in troughs, in about eight weeks. Filled
thirty-five barrels of 200 Ibs. each with them ; worth about .3.38 per barrel.
There are some good hogs a few miles from the Colonel's, yet the Berkshire
breed would be an acquisition, as also Leicester sheep. All their stock
might be improved by proper selections. A few good blood stallions and
two or three large cart horses would probably pay for importing. Colonel
Talbot has a garden pretty well stocked with shrubs, fruit trees, etc., in
better order than most in America, yet not like a good common one in
England. There are cherries, plums, apricots, peaches, nectarines, goose-
berries, currants, etc., also water or musk melons, and cucumbers, fine and
plenty. Cabbages and other vegetables thrive very well. A patch of
Swedish turnips (or ruta-baga) of a good size, notwithstanding the dry
season. A few hills of hops at one corner of the garden look remarkably
well ; they are gathered at the beginning of September. There are also a
few bunches of English cowslips, but none wild in the woods. There is a
species of violet in the fields, with less fragrance than the English ones. The
Colonel has likewise extensive orchards ; some of the fruit fine, yet the great
proportion raised from apple kernels, and remain ungrafted ; although they
bear well, their fruit is small and inferior to those grafted, except for cider. A
great portion were suffered to hang too long on the trees, until the frosts
came and spoiled them. The beautiful little humming birds are numerous
this season. Sowed wheat from the beginning to the end of September and
a little in October. A large flock of wild turkeys seen near the woods and
came to the farm-yard, where the men shot several of them ; one weighed 15
Ibs. after being picked. There are plenty in the woods, of the same breed as
the tame black turkey, and excellent eating. Cut the corn about the 2oth of
September, which was much eaten by the raccoons and black squirrels,
which are extraordinarily numerous, troublesome and destructive, from the
scarcity of nuts and mast in the woods this season."

In December Pickering had to make a journey to Fort Erie for


his trunk, returning- before Christmas. By the New Year there
was sleig-hing-, and he describes its enlivening- effect, the sleighs,
cutters and the pleasure and rapidity of travel in them, and the
Canadian winter, for the benefit of his countrymen.

"With warm clothing, a fur cap, and a bear or buffalo skin over the back
and feet, it is a pleasant and a very easy way of travelling 1 , enlivened by the
numerous sleighs and the jingling of bells, which the horses are required to
wear ; in this season many of the Canadians have quite a military appearance.
During the winter I took a journey to the mill at St. Thomas and to have the
horses shod, which will last the year, as the roads do not wear them out
quick. Some wolves made their appearance about the premises during the
foggy nights, after a dead hog ; the dogs retreated to the house much
frightened, but they very rarely attack the human species."

And in April :

" Went to the village for whiskey, and for two new cast iron ploughs (cast
at Long Point furnace, their price 2 each), and have the wrought iron
ploughshares laid, which are done only once a year, the ground being so free
from stones and gravel the iron wears but little. A new furnace and forge
establishing at Otter Creek, forty miles below here, where good hands get
thirteen dollars per month and board now, and fifteen dollars offered for the
summer, payable chiefly in their casting ware. Iron ore," he adds in a note,
" plentiful and good in various parts of the province, chiefly found in
swamps, on sandy land ; and forges and furnaces are now so common that
iron and cast ware is plentiful and moderately cheap."

" The Colonel has his threshing all done by the flail, but a great deal of
the grain in the province is trodden out by either horses or oxen. A man
with four horses will tread out thirty bushels or more in a day, which does
very well for grain that is used in the distillery, but is too dirty, though often
done, for flour for the merchant, and baking in the family. When flail
threshing is hired the thresher gets one-tenth and his board, and as the
dryness of the climate makes it thresh well, one man often threshes from
eight to twelve or even fifteen bushels a day. Millers are allowed by law for
grinding one-twelfth. It has been one-tenth, I am told, but some wiseacres,
who thought it was not enough, petitioned for one-twelfth ! "

And on April 8th " Pigeons, in great flocks, going out daily north-
ward ; some people, with nets and decoy pigeons, will catch several hundred
in a day, when they sometimes take only their breasts and salt them down,
and make beds of their feathers."

And on the i$th "Wolves last night bit a calfs tail off, and otherwise
lacerated it behind and would have killed it, had not the oxen been with them.
Oxen will drive any number of wolves, and even throw down the strongest
fence, with a strange noise, to get at them when a calf or cow is attacked."


April 22nd " This last week has been cold, and the spring- is later than
usual; fields hardly look green yet. Sowed oats, and more clover and timothy
grass, and pecked and levelled the land (a very uncommon thing in America);
sowed three bushels of oats to the acre (more than is sown in general), with
four or five pounds of clover, and as much timothy grass. Timothy, or cat's
tail, as it is called in England, is not a good grass to sow with clover, as it is
not fit to cut so soon by a fortnight, and throws up no latter or after-math.
Some of the better sorts of rye-grass, cocksfoot, or sweet-scented vernal
grass, I think, would be much better ; but they are not introduced into use
here at present. Clover, even by itself, answers admirably on a clean tilth,
and will last well in the ground for six or seven or more years, yet it is not
sown by one farmer in half a dozen in this western part of the province ; even
Colonel Talbot, I am told, never had any but once before, which was suffered
to stand till dead ripe (like all grass here) before cutting, when the cattle
would not eat the hay, and it therefore was condemned. It is getting into
general use at Long Point, and the seed sells from seven to eight dollars per
bushel, or about 355. per cwt. .... Have sixty lambs dropped, which
are strong and thriving."

May 13 "Sent 100 bushels of wheat to the " still " to have seven quarts of
whiskey per bushel for it ; three to three and a-half gallons are made from a
bushel of wheat, corn, or rye. Potatoes and pumpkins can be distilled, but
are seldom used."

And in the same month "The Colonel has been to the village of St.
Thomas to the anniversary dinner, held in honour of himself in establishing
the Talbot settlement ; it is generally well attended by store-keepers and
people of various trades and callings, as well as the more respectable farmers.

June 4th "This is 'training day,' when the militia meet at appointed
stations, near home, throughout the province, to be trained, some with guns
and some without. I need not say that they learn but little when the
reader is informed this is the only day in the year they meet, and then not
half of them perhaps, and nearly one-half of the officers know as little of
military exercise as themselves ; it is merely a ' frolic ' for the youngsters ;
nor is it necessary to train, except in prospect of war speedily coming on."

Aug. 26th " Pigeons again made their appearance in large flocks, as also
wild turkeys ; partridges, larger than the English breed, and quails, less than
those of Europe, are also numerous."

Sept. 8th" Started on foot westward to Bear Creek, thirty miles, to look

at a lot of land Crossed from Talbot street to the " Big Bend " of

the river Thames, eight miles through an entire wilderness having only a
slight track, owned by Colonel Talbot ; there are numerous such blocks of
land in the province, which have been like fetters to the country's prosperity.
A most judicious tax has since been laid on such wild lands, although violent-
ly opposed by the pretended friends of the people. This tax ought to be high
enough on those wild lands that are situated in townships partially settled to
/ compel their owner to either improve or sell them to those who would, which


is only just. ... In passing through a new settlement in the woods, the
traveller is welcomed in every house, but perhaps he may have occasionally to
sleep on a straw bed on the floor before the fire, with a blanket or two over
him, and in the same room the whole of the family live and sleep, perhaps the
only one in the house ; for eating he has bread or cake and butter and

potatoes, or " mush-and-milk," if for supper Indian meal is also

sometimes made into cakes, which are called 'Johnny cakes,' and perhaps
some meat ; this is the living, generally, of the first year or two by those who
bring little or no property into the woods but their own hands, with health and
strength, and with these they appear the most independent and contented
people in the world, as

" No contiguous palace rears its head

To shame the meanness of their humble shed.

At night returning, every labour sped,

They sit them down the monarchs of the shed."

Colonel Talbot, it may be here observed, had himself gone
through all the hardships of a backwoods settler during the first
years after his arrival. He did not shirk from the most menial
occupations. As he told Mrs. Jamieson, the authoress, he
"assumed the blanket coat and axe, slept upon the bare earth,
cooked three meals a day for twenty woodmen, cleaned his own
boots, washed his own linen, milked his cows, churned the butter,
and made and baked the bread. In this latter branch of house-
hold economy he became very expert, and still prides himself on
it." Mrs. Amelia Harris, too, described him as she, as a child,
saw him at Port Ryerse, in front of a fire, cooking for a boat-load
of men whom he had brought with him, and also plucking a wild
goose for her mother to dress for dinner.

Pickering continued his way to Bear Creek, and while in that
vicinity, says he

"Saw six acres of new-cleared ground with its first crop on, viz.: corn,
oats, peas, kidney beans, turnips, cabbages, cucumbers, melons, and tobacco,
and all very fine. The owner said this first crop would pay for clearing the
land and all other expenses attending the crop. Tobacco is becoming a
staple article of produce in these western parts of the province. I am told
there are several hundred acres of land in tobacco toward Amherstburg this
season. While it continues to be used so generally, and I fear excessively, it
will pay the cultivator much better than any grain crop, land here adapted for
it (rich sand or loam) producing from eight to fifteen cwt. per acre, and selling
to the merchants at from 1 to i 125., or i 155. per cwt., according to
quality and demand at home. Black slaves, who have run away from their
masters in Kentucky, arrive in Canada almost weekly (where they are free),


and work at raising tobacco ; I believe they introduced the practice. One
person will attend and manage the whole process of four acres, planting,
hoeing, budding, etc., during the summer."

It is remarkable that, while all that Pickering said here is true
as to the adaptability of the land in the west for tobacco raising,
and although, as he stated, it was becoming a staple article of
produce, it was only at the close of the century and more than 70
years after the above was written that tobacco had been exported,
to any extent, from Canada, or that even in other parts of the
country the tobacco of the western peninsula had come into use.
On September i2th Pickering wrote :

" Crossed the river to Talbot street, 15 miles of wood, to small settlement
on Howard Ridge, which is a rich, dry soil, well watered and healthy ; but a
canal or good road is wanted from hence to Rondeau, or Round O, as it is
called, a distance of sixteen miles, which would save the present route often
times of that distance to a market for produce. Lake Erie has but few
natural harbours, and as yet but few are made. I have arrived once more at
Clear Creek, where there are mills standing many years unfinished, one
belonging to a land surveyor. That class get possession of the besb lands,
which they will not part with at any reasonable rate. There are mills
enough, but they are frequently without water, and grist must be carried
thirty miles to be ground, while there are probably plenty of springs in the
immediate neighbourhood without mills, but they are, in many cases, on the
government reserves for the crown and clergy. Overtook a "nigger" and
his boy, just come from Kentucky, where he took French leave of his master
and brought a horse, which he sold near Detroit. There are some hundreds
of these people settled in Sandwich and Amherstburg, who are formed into a
volunteer militia corps and trained to arms."

We must now bid good-bye to Pickering, who returned and
soon after departed from Port Talbot to travel in other parts of
the province, and afterward sail for England. He has given us
some idea of the state of agriculture and other matters in the
Talbot settlement in the years 1825 and 1826 from the view-point
of an intelligent English agriculturist.

It may be added that other works of greater literary pretentions,
but much less practical value, concerning the Talbot settlement
and other parts of the province, than Pickering's guide, were
published at about this period and earlier. Among these may be
mentioned " Dr. Howison's Upper Canada," and a work by E. A.
Talbot, son of the pioneer of London township, Richard Talbot.



AN extract from the diary of Edward Ermatinger, who first
visited the settlement in 1830, will afford an idea of its condition
in that year. Mr. Ermatinger was born in 1797 on the island of
Elba in the Mediterranean the place of Napoleon's first exile
and was the elder of two sons of Lawrence Ermatinger, assistant
commissary general in the British army, who was himself born in
Canada, where his parents had settled at the close of the French
regime. Edward and his brother Francis, who was born in
Lisbon where the father was quartered after leaving Elba had
entered the Hudson Bay Company's service as clerks, in 1818.
Having served ten years throughout the North-West and on the
Columbia, Edward resolved to leave the service and come east,
where he had relatives in Montreal. Francis remained in the
service, in what is now Oregon, twenty years longer, before
following his brother and settling near St. Thomas. Meantime
Edward, after visiting his father in London, England (where he
soon after died), and his relatives in Montreal, came to Upper
Canada to look up a suitable place at which to settle and begin

After brief stops at York and Hamilton, he took the stage for
Brantford, where he arrived on 2gth June. His diary from this
on may be quoted :

June 30th " We are this morning transferred from the coach to a waggon
and proceed at 4 a. m. from Brantford to Oxford. The roads in many places
are very bad. The town of Oxford contains only a few scattered houses.
Made enquiries about my uncle's half lot of land. Am told that it is in an
unsettled part of the township. In this township the land is of the first
quality, but it is so far from the market and navigation that it will not be very
saleable for many years to come. About Oxford we travelled through a good


deal of country very little cleared, but before arriving at Westminster for
some miles it is well settled. Arrived before dark at that place. Some rain.

July ist " Fine warm weather. Took waggon this morning and travelled
to St. Thomas, a village about fifteen miles from Westminster. The greater
part of the country we passed through to-day is well settled and the road
good. The small town of St. Thomas is situated on the banks of the Kettle
Creek. The principal building in it is a neat little Episcopal church, and it
contains two stores, two taverns, blacksmith's shop, tailor, and I suppose
from 20 to 30 dwelling houses.

July znd " Very warm weather. Went down to Kettle Creek harbour, 10
miles from St. Thomas. The road part of the way very bad. Presented Mr.
MofFat's letter to Messrs. Hamilton and Warren. Saw their new vessel of
about 90 tons burthen, which was launched three days ago. Two fine large
storehouses, erected close to the harbour, and a few dwellings. Saw Mr.
Thompson's mills and Mr. Fitzgerald's small store. Introduced to Mr.
Burnham, parson of this place, and Talbot. Took tea at his house in com-
pany with my travelling companion, Mr. Crawford. He gives a very
favourable report of this country, as does everybody I meet with.

July 3rd " Warm weather. Hired a horse this morning to go to Port
Talbot. Proceeded through Talbot street to Colonel Burwell's, where I
dined. From St. Thomas to this place, \o% miles, there is a good road and
the lands are settled on both sides of it. The country has a fine appearance,
but the buildings are wretched for the most part. Colonel Talbot is settled
upon a beautiful spot, commanding a grand view of Lake Erie, about 2%
miles beyond Colonel Burwell's. The road for this distance is excellent and
shaded on both sides by thick woods, nobody being allowed to settle nearer
in that direction. From Colonel Talbot's shaped my course to Ireland, five
miles further on. Quartered myself upon Captain Patterson, there being no
inn near at hand.

4th, Sunday <->

1 1

a =


H ^


matter, his conduct in striking 1 out sums voted by the assembly
for reporting the debates of the house to McKenzie and Collins
was regarded by opponents of the government as unjust and
autocratic. His arbitrary conduct in regard to Forsyth, an
alleged trespasser upon ordnance lands upon the Niagara, and his
interference with the house in regard to its inquiry into the same
matter, drew down upon him strong censure from Sir George
Murray, the Colonial Secretary, and led to his recall.

The prosecutions and persecutions to which William Lyon
McKenzie was subjected, in and out of parliament, contributed
during this period not only to build up that gentleman's popularity
and influence, but to still further embitter a considerable portion
of the population of the province against the government.
McKenzie wielded so caustic a pen and so aroused the ire of the
official party by his bitter writings that a band of young hotheads
conceived and carried out the mad project of breaking into the
printing office where his Colonial Advocate was published and
casting a portion of its contents into the bay. This, though
intended as a crushing blow to McKenzie, proved just the reverse
and contributed to the defeat of the government party at the next
elections, and the return of an assembly with a considerable
Reform majority, in which McKenzie had, for the first time, a
seat, and in which Rolph and Matthews were again included.
Sir John Colborne, the new governor, arrived after this election.
Colonel Talbot, in one of his letters, expressed a feeling of
resentment toward Sir George Murray which was, no doubt,
aroused by the latter's deserved censure of the Colonel's friend,
Sir Peregrine. Sir George Murray is generally regarded,
however, as having but done his duty, and the Colonel's resent-
ment was as undeserved as it was natural in him. The favourable
opinion of Sir John Colborne, so strongly expressed in Colonel
Talbot's speech at St. Thomas in April, 1832, was, however, a
deserved compliment to a governor, who was placed in a very
unpleasant position during a critical period of seven years, during
which he had to act under six successive Colonial Secretaries at
the home office, while conflict succeeded conflict in the political
affairs of the province he was called upon to rule. He, like Sir


Peregrine Maitland, was a distinguished officer in the army, but
he avoided those errors into which his predecessor had fallen by
arbitrary exercise of power, and prosecution for libel ceased. He
showed a desire to promote the interests of the province and
advance education, while at the same time he stood firmly by the
constitution of 1791 and his instructions from the colonial office.
He was bitterly attacked after he had left the province t for having
endowed forty-four rectories of the Church of England out of the
clergy reserve lands on the eve of his departure, but, though
attributed to the undue influence of the Rev. Dr. Strachan, such
action was in accordance with instructions received from the
colonial office some years before. If he withheld action so long
out of deference to public opinion, he would have consulted his
own popularity had he witheld it altogether, as such action has
been ever since assigned as a contributing cause to the troubles
which followed. It may be added here that Sir John Colborne
was placed in command of the forces in both Canadas during the
troublous times which followed his vacating the Lieutenant-
Governorship, and rendered valuable service, and that he was
subsequently created Lord Seaton.

When Mr. McKenzie had taken his seat in the house he, in
1829, brought forward a list of thirty-one grievances, some more
or less fancied and some very real. Many of these were disposed
of subsequently by Lord Goderich, so that by 1834, criminal
prosecutions for political libels had ceased, the war losses had
been settled, and the tenure of office of judges was no longer
dependent upon the pleasure of the Crown, but upon good
behaviour, a change which freed them from interference of the
executive, and from a recurrence of some past unpleasant incidents.
Free grants of land to influential favourites, too, had been
forbidden and sale by public competition ordered.

Meantime the Reformers had suffered a reverse in the elections
held in consequence of the death of George IV., in 1830, when
neither of the Baldwins obtained seats and Dr. Rolph was
defeated. Though the libel prosecutions in the house had ceased,
the Legislative Assembly in 1831 began a series of proceedings
against McKenzie, whose acrid writings provoked his opponents


to a course incompatible with free institutions. Colonel Burwell,
who had again been elected for Middlesex, took a somewhat
prominent part in these proceeding's, which resulted in McKenzie's
repeated expulsion from the house on the charge of having
libelled the Assembly in his newspaper, and his re-election by his
constituents as often as he was expelled. With the Attorney-
General, Mr. H. J. Boulton, rests in a large measure the respons-
ibility for the proceedings against Mr. McKenzie, and his
intemperate language, as well as that of Solicitor-General
Hagerman, in the house, was quoted in justification of McKenzie's
abusive articles. Sir John Colborne was blamed for not inter-
fering, but having been advised by the law officers that the
proceedings were legal and a six days' debate having failed to
stay the majority in the Assembly from carrying out the first
expulsion, he could not well interfere against the views of his
advisers, without a serious stretch of prerogative.

The proceedings taken by the Assembly tended to enhance the
importance and popularity of McKenzie for the time being, who
had meantime busied himself in obtaining petitions from the
people of the province to the King respecting various grievances,
and was about to sail for England to press the petitions he had
obtained upon the home government, at the time of the St.
George's day meeting in St. Thomas in the spring of '32. It was
to meet these petitions that that read at the St. Thomas meeting
was adopted, and to check as well the progress of dissatisfaction
from turning into dangerous channels, that the meeting was
called. Lord Goderich's report stated that McKenzie's views
were supported by 44 petitions signed by 12,075 persons, while
33 petitions signed by 26,854 persons opposed him.

As already stated, a considerable number of the grievances
were remedied by 1834, in which year the tide again turned in
favour of the Reformers at the polls. Neither Robert Baldwin
nor Dr. Rolph were elected at this time. Dr. Rolph had
given up the practice of law and removed to Toronto, where his
ability and medical knowledge were recognized, and he began that
course of teaching which in after years he carried on with so much
success. Sir John Colborne at this time proposed to establish a


medical college, to be liberally supported by government, of which
Rolph should be placed in charge. The offer was declined,
owing, it is said, to Rolph's not having decided as yet to abandon
political life. Dr. Charles Buncombe was elected both in 1830
and again in 1834 for Oxford,* he having removed from St.
Thomas to Burford, his brother Elijah remaining to practice in
the former place.

Charles Duncombe was of a family which was an offshoot of a
well-known English family of like name. He bore the same
Christian name, as well as surname, as both his great grandfather
and grandfather, the former of whom came from England to
Boston about 1730. Dr. Charles Duncombe came from Delaware
county, New York, to St. Thomas, followed at short intervals by
his aged father, Thomas Duncombe, his mother, Rhoda Tyrell
Duncombe and his youngest brother, Dr. David Duncombe, and
they were joined, upon the death of the father in 1822, by the
second son, Elijah, also a doctor. In fact the Duncombes of this
family have been almost exclusively medical men from that day to
the present and during a considerable portion of the century have
been and are now represented in that profession in St. Thomas.
Charles, as has been stated, left St. Thomas and settled at
Burford, in Oxford, about the time of his father's death, and his
brother David made his home at Waterford, in the county of
Norfolk. Dr. Charles Duncombe is described as a handsome
man, somewhat small of stature, but of pleasing and dignified
appearance, much esteemed by those among whom he practised
his profession, and a forcible speaker.

Tn the first session of the new parliament (1835) at the instance
of Dr. Duncombe a resolution was passed providing for a grant
of ^150 for the expenses of three commissioners "in obtaining
the best information, plans and estimates of a lunatic asylum, and
such information as they may deem necessary relative to the
management and good government of such institutions, and also
respecting the system and management of schools and colleges,

*Dr. C. Duncombe was blacklisted in the Colonial Advocate, in 1833, by
McKenzie, who favoured Dr. John Rolph and Thomas Horner as candidates
for Oxford.


and such other matters as are connected with the interest, welfare
and prosperity of this province."

Drs. C. Duncombe, Morrison and Bruce were named as com-
missioners, but Dr. Duncombe was authorized by his colleagues
to go to the " United States or elsewhere " in search of the
required information. Pursuant to this wide-reaching commission,
he journeyed through the western, middle, eastern and some of
the southern states, during almost the whole of the recess, not
visiting his own family from prorogation until late in the Fall,
when he spent a very few days at home. He obtained also a
large amount of documentary and other information from England,
Scotland and the continent.

The result appears in three reports, one on lunatic asylums, a
practical, well-written document, containing precise recommenda-
tions as to the site, plans and general regulations for a provincial
asylum another more elaborate report on education and a third
upon prisons and penitentiaries. The report on education, while
somewhat discursive, is worthy of perusal by educationists even
at the present day, and deals in an enlightened spirit with some
subjects not yet fully settled, such as religious and moral training
and manual training. Indeed, Duncombe regarded a religious
and moral training as of paramount importance and his views and
recommendations in relation to this and to female education and
the training of female teachers to fill the requirements of an
adequate school system for the province, are among the salient
features of the report. Co-education is not alluded to, and even
a separate normal school for females is recommended in addition
to three for males, in the east, centre and west of the province
respectively. The latter, after the lapse of more than half a
century, have been established, but open to both sexes. The bill
which accompanied the report provided for a system of voluntary
state aided schools. The doctor was not in favour of the
compulsory system of Prussia.

These reports, with that of the committee on finance,* regarding
the post office department, of which Dr. Duncombe was chairman,
testify favourably to the industry, activity, ability and apparently

*A11 contained in the appendix to the Journals of 1836.


to the high moral qualities and lofty ideals of one whose name has
been held in execration by a large portion of the people of the

It may be here mentioned, though anticipating a little, that Dr.
Buncombe proceeded to England after the elections of 1836, to
present charges against the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir F. B.
Head, complaining of undue influence exercised by him in the
elections in behalf of the Tory party. Joseph Hume presented the
case in the House of Commons and the memorial was referred to
the Lieutenant-Governor for his defence and sent to the Assembly,
where it was relegated to a committee of which Colonels Prince
and Burwell were members, and they exonerated him, as did the
home government, Lord Glenelg reporting that he had "been
governed by a strict adherence to the principles of the

McKenzie was once more in the house after the elections of
1834, and, with a Reform majority at his back, moved for a
committee on grievances, who, with himself as chairman, pre-
pared the voluminous report known as the " seventh report,"
which was not, however, adopted by the house until February,

The thirty-one grievances presented by McKenzie in 1829 may
be stated in general terms to have been chiefly aimed at the
irresponsible exercise of power and patronage and expenditure of
public revenues by the governor and his advisers known as " the
family compact " without regard to the views of the Assembly.
A number of these grievances were now remedied, as already
seen. Though the single remedy for almost all the grievances
was responsible government as now understood, this does not
seem to have been then in terms asked for. In fact the system,
as now practised, was as yet imperfectly understood even in
England though Robert Baldwin appears to have grasped its
meaning at an early day. The seventh report, while it complained
of want of an executive responsible to public opinion, failed to
point out the exact remedy, except that it urged the necessity of
the elective system being applied to the legislative council. That
that was not a necessity to popular government, as we have it


now, has been demonstrated by the reversion to a nominative
senate at Confederation, after some years' trial of an elective
upper chamber. An elective upper chamber was, however, much
agitated in this as well as in the sister province by Papineau,
with whom McKenzie was now to some extent acting in concert.
This quasi alliance with the French-Canadian agitator did not add
to McKenzie's popularity in this province ; but neither his
repeated expulsions from the house nor his prolonged stay in
England had taught him discretion ; while his conduct in some
respects as first mayor of Toronto and his publication of a letter
from Joseph Hume, in which the latter spoke of "independence
and freedom from the baneful domination of the mother country,"
as the destiny of Canada, did not meet with popular approval and
tended to alienate Egerton Ryerson and the Methodist body, who
were still further incensed by the grossly abusive language applied
by Hume to Ryerson.

It was during this parliament (1834-36) that the government
and Colonel Talbot were called upon to make a return of the
official correspondence and other information regarding the Talbot
settlement, already sufficiently referred to in previous pages.*

And now in 1836 appeared in Canada one of the most
singular characters known to the early history of this province.
Francis Bond Head was a well educated gentleman of good
family, who had seen some military service, and had travelled in
many countries, having recorded his experiences on the pampas
of South America in a widely read book, which, with some other
published works, had given him a literary reputation, when he
was appointed a Poor Law commissioner for a district in Kent.
He had a fatal facility of expression as a writer, which, while it
makes his published " Narrative" and despatches almost as enter-
taining to the reader as a romance, was one of the contributing
causes of his failure as a public man.

Pitchforked if a homely but expressive term may be allowed
into office, almost against his will and after a wholly unexpected
nocturnal summons from the King's minister, the circumstances
of his appointment are, if we may accept his own account of it

*See appendix to journals, 1836.


all, sufficiently inexplicable. When he tells us he was as wholly
unacquainted with public affairs as the horses which drew his
carriage, and had never attended a political meeting or even
voted, the enigma becomes the greater. It was even suggested
that the appointment was made through mistake for another
member of the same family. The home (Whig) government was
pursuing a policy of conciliation, without conceding popular
responsible government, and the Lieutenant-Governor's instruc-
tions were prepared by Lord Glenelg in accordance with this

It is possible that the placards which adorned the walls of
Toronto, on his arrival, announcing him as a " tried Reformer"
may have spurred the Lieutenant-Governor to inform the Assembly
four days after his arrival that he had " nothing to promise or
profess," and to follow this up by sending down a full copy of his
instructions, instead of the substance of them, which he was
authorized to communicate. They were not of a character to
satisfy the Assembly. The instructions pointed out that the
executive were responsible to the home government, to whom an
appeal from their decisions was always open.

Joseph Hume, the radical leader, who, with Roebuck,
championed the cause of the Canadian Reformers in the British
House of Commons, had written a letter to Mr. McKenzie, to be
sent on also to Mr. Papineau, counselling both of them to accept
whatever concessions should be offered and make allowance for
the governor's instructions from Downing street, besides extolling
Governor Head. This letter probably gave rise to the " tried
Reformer " placards. Within twelve days after his arrival in
Toronto, however, the governor, after interviews with the Chief
Justice and the officers of the Crown, two long conversations with
Mr. McKenzie and two interviews with Mr. Bidwell, the speaker
of the Assembly, was able to come to the conclusion that that
house misrepresented the feeling and interest of the inhabitants
that the " republican party," as he persisted from the first in
terming the opposition, were " implacable ; that no concession
whatever would satisfy them, their self-interested object being to
possess themselves of the government of this province, for the


sake of lucre and emolument." " Under these circumstances,"
he continued, l< I considered that the great danger I had to avoid
was the slightest attempt to conciliate any party."

The governor was, however, at the outset constrained to make
one attempt at conciliation. The executive council which he
found in office on his arrival consisted of but three members, one
of whom was Colonel Talbot's friend, the Hon. Peter Robinson,
Commissioner of Crown Lands. This council, being barely
sufficient to form a quorum, requested that their number be
increased. The governor complied, after inquiry, by offering
seats to the most generally popular as well as moderate Reformer
he could find, Robert Baldwin, and, on the latter's recommenda-
tion, to Dr. Rolph and Mr. Dunn, which, after some hesitation,
were accepted by them. Having, as he conceived, poured oil on
the troubled waters by forming this coalition against the wishes
of both parties in the council, however he proceeded to govern
according to his own conception of the constitution, making
appointments on his own responsibility solely, which accorded
with the views of neither the Tories nor Reformers of his council.
They having joined in a written remonstrance to the Lieutenant-
Governor, which involved the principle of responsibility to the
people for the acts of the Lieutenant-Governor the latter replied
that they could not retain such principles and his confidence, and,
although he says four of the six offered to recant he dismissed
them all.

It must be conceded that the Governor steered his peculiar
course with a considerable degree of acumen. The mistake he
made and adhered to with dogged persistency was that democracy
and British institutions were implacable enemies, that popular,
responsible government meant republican government, pure and
simple, and must necessarily involve the final downfall of British
supremacy in North America. So believing, he took up the
gauntlet, which the assembly speedily threw down. They accused
him of misstatements, misrepresentations, want of candour and
truth, among other things, in an address to the King, and stopped
the supplies. He reserved all money bills including an appropri-
ation of ^50,000 to be expended by members of the house as


commissioners for roads prorogued parliament amid encouraging
acclamations, and awaited the receipt of petitions to dissolve the
house and the ripening of the germs he had sown, meantime
requesting that no orders be sent by the home government,
" but," as he put it, " to allow me to let the thing work by itself;
for it requires no argument, as the stoppage of the supplies, of
the road money, and all other money bills, will soon speak for
themselves in a provincial dialect which everybody will understand."

The Colonial Minister acceded to his request for non-interven-
tion by a silence so prolonged that when the elections, which were
held in June, were over, the Governor, who was expecting
congratulations on a victory at the polls, which he thought had
' ' saved the Canadas, " began to complain of the home government's
neglect of him. In the autumn he received a confidential dispatch
(which he does not appear to have made known) from Lord
Glenelg that, in consequence of certain representations from New
Brunswick, the executive councils in all the North American
colonies were to be increased in number, and thenceforward to be
composed of persons possessing the confidence of the people
"which, in these colonies," wrote the Governor, " means that the
Governor's head is to be emptied of its contents and then stuffed
with republican brains."

As the Colonial Minister had already approved of Head's reply
to his council when they were dismissed, this change of front,
coupled with the allowance of all the money bills he had reserved,
gave him a shock, which was but the forerunner of other
differences with the colonial office, culminating in his refusal to
accede to the home government's desire for the appointment of
Mr. Bidwell as a judge, or to reinstate Mr. George Ridout, whom
he had dismissed from the position of judge of the Niagara district.
This latter act of disobedience led to his resignation being accepted.
Before it took effect, however, the rebellion had broken out.
McKenzie, we are told by his son-in-law, had received so
severe a shock at learning the result of the general elections, in
which the Governor had swept the province, that he was ever
after a changed man. He had now made the fatal mistake of
taking up arms.


Sir Francis Bond Head for he attained that title before he left
the province though he affected in his subsequent despatches to
have foreseen it all, was, in reality, dwelling" in a " fool's paradise "
of fancied security, refusing all warnings and advice to prepare for
attack. That the danger at Toronto was averted by the prompt
action of Colonel Fitzgibbon and others is well known. The
story has been so often told in detail that it need not be repeated
here. The Baldwins and the other moderate Reformers took
no part in the outbreak, but Robert Baldwin and Dr. Rolph
were sent by the Governor to endeavour to persuade McKenzie
and the approaching rebels, by a promise of amnesty, to abandon
their purpose of attacking the city. Rolph was afterward charged
by one of the latter (Lount) with having covertly encouraged them
to proceed, while acting as a messenger of peace. This he denied,
though it is admitted that he may have done so on a second visit
with Mr. Baldwin to the rebel outposts, where they returned to
say that the Governor would not accede to the rebels' counter-
demand for a written promise of amnesty. This conduct of
Rolph's (of which Mr. Baldwin was ignorant) was defended on the
ground that he, Dr. Rolph, was no longer acting as the Governor's
envoy when he went the second time to the rebel lines. Rolph
was to have been administrator of the provisional government,
pending the adoption of a constitution, had McKenzie's attempted
capture of Toronto and the arms stored there and the person of
the Governor succeeded.

As McKenzie failed to advance that day, Dr. Rolph, finding
himself the subject of suspicion by the loyalists, who had already
arrested his friend, Dr. Morrison, fled across the border, as did
McKenzie a day or so later, on the defeat and dispersal of the
small body of rebels who continued with him.



Up then ! for Liberty for Right,
Strike home ! the tyrants falter ;
Be firm be brave, let all unite,
And despots schemes must alter.
Our King our government and laws,
While just, we aye shall love them,
But Freedom's Heaven-born, holier cause
We hold supreme above them.

From " Rhymes for the People " in St. Thomas
Liberal, August, 1837.

INFLAMED by such sentiments as the foregoing and stirred by the
agitation produced by some two hundred meetings held through-
out the country, a proportion of the people of the west stood ripe
for revolt.

Dr. Charles Duncombe returned from England with feelings
embittered against the Lieutenant-Governor and the government
party, through the failure of his mission. It is said, however,
that he did not at first willingly consent to participate in
McKenzie's design for the forcible seizure of the reins of
government, though he was quite ready to take part in a great
political demonstration, as at first proposed. When acquainted
with its real character he, however, finally consented, but found
that the moderate men of the district would not participate. He
had, in fact, returned but a short time* from England when the
outbreak occurred. The Upper and Lower Canadian leaders were
now acting in concert and Duncombe was in correspondence with

*His relatives say he had just landed.


them. He mustered a force of some three hundred men, many
without arms. As early as 6th December, 1837, messengers had
been despatched to the doctor from McKenzie and Lount to bring
on his forces to their assistance. They got no further than Oak-
land, however, before McKenzie was obliged to flee the country
and his followers were dispersed. On McKenzie establishing
himself with VanRensselaer on Navy Island, the former expected
to cross over with his forces to the Canadian mainland and form
a junction with Duncombe, whose name appeared as a member of
the provisional government in the proclamation issued from the
island by McKenzie, dated December i3th.

By that date, however, Colonel (afterward Sir Allan) McNab
was at Brantford with a force of nearly 400 men, who had
accompanied him, supplemented there by 150 volunteers and 100
Indians under Captain Kerr. Duncombe, having heard of
McKenzie and Lount's reverse, had retreated to Scotland.
Messengers were sent to Simcoe, Woodstock, London and St.
Thomas to have the militia called out to join McNab's force at
Oakland. The first and second Middlesex were called out and
volunteer^ called for. Men came in freely to St. Thomas from the
surrounding townships, though the south of Yarmouth and some
other parts were almost in a state of rebellion. A considerable
party of volunteers, horse and foot, were despatched. John B.
Askin, Clerk of the Peace at London, who came down to seize the
Liberal press, as before narrated, took the lead. Colonel
Bostwick was entitled to the command, but being led to believe
he could be of more service by remaining in St. Thomas to direct
affairs there, remained behind, and so lost the command, which
was given to Colonel Askin by McNab, who was in charge of the
militia of the province. The following particulars as to their
march and return have been given to the writer by George Kerr,
of St. Thomas, then of Nova Scotia street in Malahide, one of the
few survivors. Among those who went from the neighbourhood
of St. Thomas were Captain Shore, George T. Claris, Isaac
Riley, Esau Payne and Major Orr, Major Nevill and Daniel
Marlatt of Yarmouth, and from the Nova Scotia street region in
Malahide, George Kerr, W. B. Lyon, Edward and Sanders


Griffin, Jesse Learn, Alex, and William Saxton and David Marr.
From Port Burwell and Bayham, John Burwell brought up a
contingent as well. Doyle McKenny of Malahide was also active
in gathering men. With such arms as could be collected the
force of volunteers proceeded by the Talbot road to Delhi and
thence through eleven miles of woods without a break, until the
open plain in the vicinity of the village of Scotland was reached.
The men were all anticipating a hot reception there from Dun-
combe and his men, but instead of Duncombe they found McNab
and his force in possession of the village and neighbourhood.
They had come on from Oakland, where the junction of the two
forces was to have been made. Duncombe had recognized the
hopelessness of his position and ordered his men to disperse. The
main body was reported to have taken the direction of Norwich
and the volunteers were despatched in that direction. Night
overtook them in the woods, and, without food for either men or
horses, with intensely cold weather, a most cheerless night was
spent. Fires were lit, and efforts made to fight starvation and
frost, in the absence of other enemies, yet, in spite of all, their
sufferings were great, and Mr. George T. Claris, afterwards
treasurer of Elgin county, sowed the seeds of rheumatism, which
lasted him for the remainder of his life, and his was probably but
one case among many.

The morning brought word of the dispersal of Duncombe's
followers to their homes and the order was given to pursue and,
if possible, head them off in all directions. Duncombe's and
Eliakim Malcolm's papers were seized by McNab. Malcolm was
a former Justice of the Peace, residing close to Scotland.

The men from the west already referred to took the road home-
ward, moving as rapidly as possible, with a view to heading off or
overtaking the rebels who might be expected to retreat in that
direction. This they were successful in doing at Otter Creek,
now Richmond. At the bridge at that point some forty of them
were taken without resistance in fact they seemed glad to be
confined in quarters where warmth and food could be obtained,
for they had suffered even more severely than the loyalist party,
since they, while lying in concealment or wandering in the woods,


were unable to kindle fires for fear of disclosing their whereabouts.
Similar captures were made in other directions. Some were
released on surrendering- their arms and permitted to return
home, others retained as prisoners. Of those taken at Otter
Creek a considerable number were conveyed to gaol at Simcoe.

Dr. Duncombe's movements, as narrated by his relations,
formed a series of exciting experiences. For three days he lay
concealed in the woods, aware that a reward of ^500 was offered
for his capture, subsisting as best he could on such berries, herbs
and roots as he could find at this inclement season his white
horse, known as "White Pigeon," sharing his hardships. He at
night only ventured to mount the steed, which browsed by day in
the woods where he lay. Not until starvation stared him in the
face did he venture near human habitation ; but having at length
reached the vicinity of Nilestown, he at last approached the
house of Mr. Putnam, a political friend. The latter was not at
home, but his wife, who came of a family of the opposite political
faith, admitted him. In answer to her enquiry who he was and
what he wanted, he placed his revolver on the table before him
saying at the same time " I am Charles Duncombe and I must
have food." Though frightened and doubtful at first as to what
she ought to do, she gave him food and finally consented to
shelter and conceal him, which was successfully accomplished by
allowing him the use of a bedroom and a night cap. With the
latter on his head and otherwise covered by the bed clothes, he
represented an absent grandmother of the household, supposedly
confined to bed by illness, so successfully that a party of passing
loyalists who thought they recognized his white horse and came
into the house to search for its owner, were thrown off the scent
after a glance into the bedroom and at the recumbent figure of the
supposed " grandma " in the bed. A brother of his hostess, who
was suspected of complicity in the recent troubles, was also
sought for, but, concealed in an outhouse, escaped detection.

Dr. Duncombe next under cover of darkness made for the
home of his sister, Mrs. Shenich, near London. In response to
a knock she opened the door, but failed to recognize him.

"Is it possible you don't know me, sister?" asked the


unfortunate doctor in amazement.

By way of reply, Mrs. Shenich led him into the house and
before a looking-glass, which showed to his astonished eyes that
his hair had become grey, not from age, but from the bitter
experiences and anxieties of the previous few days ! He remained
in hiding at his sister's until a Mr. Tilden, from the west, who had
come to visit a married sister at London, Mrs. Hitchcock,
suggested a means of disguise, in which he offered to convey him
across the border in his waggon. The suggestion and offer being
accepted, the sister cut off a curl of her hair, with the aid of
which and a bonnet and female attire, the doctor was transformed,
to all appearance, into a lady traveller, and was driven without
mishap by Tilden to the neighbourhood of Sarnia, where a safe
crossing upon the ice was effected.* The river was at that time
patrolled by militia, some of whom are reported to have gallantly
escorted the fugitive leader part way across and to have received
from the (seeming) lady, when she had got a safe distance
toward the other shore, the astonishing message, shouted in a
maculine voice :

" Go and tell your commander you have just piloted Dr.
Duncombe across the river! "

Such is the story of Dr. Duncombe's escape as told by his
relatives, a daughter of Mrs. Shenich's, who as a child saw her
uncle in concealment, being authority for the greater part of it.

Dr. Duncombe in September of the following year took part in
a convention, held at Cleveland, of the Hunter's Lodges of Ohio
and Michigan, at which seventy delegates were present, and a
republican form of government for Upper Canada was framed,
with a president, vice-president, secretaries of state, treasury and
war. A commander-in-chief, commissary and adjutant-generals,
two brigadiers and a large number of majors and subalterns were
also appointed. The " Republican Bank of Canada " was formed.

*In a letter from Lieutenant Woodward to E. Ermatinger, dated Amherst-
burg, January loth, 1838, the following sentence occurs: "Dr. Duncombe's
horse, Chase informs me, was found tied to a tree at Bear Creek, and Dr.
Duncombe is supposed to be drowned." (See appendix F.) Chase had just
been taken prisoner on the Schooner "Anne," at Amherstburg", If his state-
ment was correct, Duncombe probably rode his horse as far as Bear Creek.


Buncombe was generally regarded as its father, as he took an
interest in financial subjects when in the legislature and subse-
quently wrote a book on banking. Gold and silver were to form
the only legal money, with a provision for paper being issued in
cases of emergency. The stock was to be capitalized at
$7,500,000 in 150,000 shares of $50 each. Provision was made
that after this capital was placed, it might be increased to allow
of every individual on the continent becoming possessed of one
share, but no more. Shareholders were to receive back their
money and interest only in case "the cause" that is, the invasion
of Canada, for which a date was fixed triumphed, and loans for
the Patriot service were to have precedence of all others.

So far as known Dr. Buncombe took no part in the actual
operations of the subsequent attempted invasions although both
Br. Rolph and himself were accused by prisoners taken at
Prescott of having taken part in, or advised, the ill-starred
expedition against that point.

Br. Buncombe subsequently removed to California, where he
died, at the age of 75, in October, 1867. His father and brother,
Elijah, who continued to practice as a respected physician in St.
Thomas, were, after their decease, interred in the churchyard of
eld St. Thomas church.

McNab and a large portion of his force left the search for
Buncombe to others, and proceeded to the Niagara frontier, in
the vicinity of Navy Island, where McKenzie was collecting men
and resources. Here, before the end of Becember, the cutting
out of the steamer Caroline, which was engaged in conveying men
and munitions of war from Schlosser, on the American side, to
Navy Island, brought the fifteen days' occupation of the latter
point to an end. The steamer was set on fire and drifted toward
the Falls while burning. Captain Brew, a retired naval officer
living in Oxford county, was placed in command of the expedition
across the river to cut out the steamer. With him were a party
of the " elegant extracts," as Sir Allen McNab facetiously termed
the body of young gentlemen volunteers from London, Woodstock
and Hamilton, composed of law students, clerks, and others. Of
the seven boatloads who took part in the hazardous exploit were


John Harris, of London, formerly in the navy ; Frederick Cleverly,
a law student, of London ; Captain S. McCormack, of Adelaide
(who received two wounds) ; Lieutenant Battersby, of London ;
Hugh Barwick, W. S. Light, and Mr. Lapenotiere, of Oxford ;
and R. S. Woods, a law student, now the respected veteran Judge
Woods, of Chatham, the only surviving member of the expedition
known to the writer. Lieutenant Drew received his orders
verbally from McNab, and McCormack, Harris, Battersby,
Lapenotiere, and Lieutenants Elmsley and Breen, R. N. and
Captain Gordon, of the steamboat Brittania, officered the several
boats. The affair led to international friction with the United
States, the Caroline having been moored to the American shore
when cut away and one McLeod was arrested and tried at
Lockport for the murder of the only man killed in the affair, one
Durfee. The British government assumed responsibility for the
act ; Colonel McNab became Sir Allen McNabb, while he and
Captain Drew were each presented with a sword, and the men a
vote of thanks, by the legislative assembly and McLeod was
acquitted, on an alibi being proved.

The campaign of December, 1837, or the rebellion properly so
called, was followed by a series of invasions and raids from across
the border by forces organized in the United States, largely by the
" Hunter's Lodges." So elaborate were the preparations for these
various attempts as to indicate that had McKenzie's plan for
capturing the capital not miscarried he would have had assistance
within call which would have rendered his emeute a very formidable,
if not an entirely successful, affair. The American officials, too,
were sympathetic, and even in some cases prepared to wink at the
appropriation of government arms for the invasion of Canada.
There was no lack of officers, such as they were.

The invasions on the western frontier, which many men of the
Talbot settlement were called out to protect, must be dealt with
in another chapter.



ON McKenzie's arrival in Buffalo after his flight from Canada, a
man named Sutherland espoused his cause and publicly recruited
men to support him. This man was, on 28th December, 1837,
commissioned by VanRensselaer, McKenzie's chief military
commander, as a " Brigadier-General, " to repair to Detroit and
its vicinity to promote a descent upon Canada from that quarter.

On his arrival on the western frontier he found Henry S. Handy
of Illinois, Commander-in-Chief of the " Patriot Army of the
Northwest," with James H. Wilson, Major-General, E. J. Roberts,
Brigadier-General of the first brigade, and Dr. Thellar, Brigadier
to command the first brigade of French and Irish troops to be
raised in Canada. Thellar had lived at one time in Lower Canada,
where the rebellion under Papineau had broken out almost
simultaneously with McKenzie's attempt in the upper province.

Colonels and staff officers were appointed and men and materials
of war were collected at Detroit, until the Governor of the state
was compelled to give Handy a hint to move on, which the latter
proceeded to do by means of the steamboat McComb and schooner
Anne. The steamer was, however, seized by the United States
military authorities, and the schooner with the arms, ammunition
and provisions was towed by row boats to Gibraltar Island, at the
mouth of the river, whither the men had been marched by night.
Being still in the United States territory, Handy was notified by
the complaisant Governor that he would, by the i8th January, be
obliged to disperse the forces. Acting on this hint, the troops and
schooner were ordered to be removed to the top of Bois Blanc


Island, opposite Fort Maiden, from which they were to cross to
the mainland and carry the fort by assault but the troops failed
to proceed to Bois Blanc. It was at this time that Sutherland
arrived from Cleveland with some 200 men from Ohio. The
plethora of commanding" officers led to disputes, but Handy was
eventually continued in the chief command though Sutherland,
aided by Thellar, assumed the command for a time. Sutherland
issued a bombastic proclamation to the people of Upper Canada,
while Thellar sailed up and down the river, firing both ball and
canister into the town of Amherstburg, until, as will presently
appear, she ran aground at Elliott's point and was captured by
the militia, among whom were many troopers of the St. Thomas

The St. Thomas cavalry troop was organized by Captain James
Ermatinger, who had been sent a short time previously, by his
father in Montreal, to his cousin, Edward Ermatinger, of St.
Thomas, with a view to the young man's engaging in business in
the west. His brother, Lieutenant Charles Oakes Ermatinger,
had received the first shot fired in the rebellion in Lower Canada
when, in command of a detachment of the Montreal cavalry, he
was bringing in some prisoners from St. Johns, and was wounded
in an attack by a body of rebels near Longueuil. The young
Captain's family were possessed of the military spirit, his father,
Charles Oakes Ermatinger senior, having led a party of
voyageurs when Fort Michillimackinac was captured by the
British, under Captain Roberts -uncle of Lord Roberts in 1812.
His brother, William best known as Colonel Ermatinger, after-
ward police magistrate of Montreal distinguished himself in the
field, fighting in the legion of Sir de Lacy Evans in Spain.

When the western frontier was threatened James Ermatinger
promptly organized his troop and set out for Toronto to obtain
necessary accoutrements. The troop set out from St. Thomas on
2nd January, 1838, with Lieutenant Woodward in command.
He was long remembered in St. Thomas in connection with the
Agricultural Bank, an ephemeral financial concern. He had no
military training, however, and became the paymaster of the
troop. At Coyne's Corners, where the troop halted the first


night, Samuel Williams, Jephtha Wilson and Julius Airey, a
nephew of Colonel Talbot's, then residing with his uncle at Port
Talbot, joined. At Morpeth, where the second night was spent,
three more recruits, Duck, Richardson, and Ball, fell in.

When the troop reached Amherstburg on the 6th January,
great was the confusion and excitement. An alarm bell rang to
warn the citizens of the enemy's approach, and so soon as the
troopers found, with difficulty, accommodation for their horses,
they were marched aboard a vessel and transported to Bois Blanc
Island, where they met none of the enemy, though they could hear
their fifes and drums across the water almost continuously for the
four or five hours they remained on the island. About eight p.m.,
at the suggestion of Colonel Prince, they were re-embarked for
the mainland, which was now threatened by Thellar's schooner,
the Anne. As the troop stood on Gordon's wharf, the schooner
fired two volleys of canister at them, which they immediately
returned with the muskets with which some of them were armed
the bullets sounding in the darkness on the canvas and
smoke-pipe of the passing vessel, which soon rounded the
island and did not re-appear until sunrise on the gth, when
the Anne and a scow came round either end of the island.
Then the cannonading was re-commenced and kept up inter-
mittently during the day trees, houses, stables, and finally
the windmill, being more or less damaged. Toward evening
the Anne ran close to shore and descended the river, cannonading
as she went. At Elliott's Point she ran in so close to shore
as to go aground. It is said that a bullet from shore had
disabled the helmsman, and this threw the vessel out of her
course. The troopers and other militia ran as fast as their legs
could carry them round the bend of the river to the point, endeav-
ouring to keep up with the vessel to prevent a landing. Some
militiamen were already posted behind the trees on the shore by
Colonel Radcliffe, and fired into the vessel as she passed. A call
for quarter was heard from the grounded vessel, and a demand
from shore to lower the starred flag brought a response that some
of the crew had been shot while endeavouring to do so. Without
more ado the men on shore stepped into the river, waded out



some breast high in water and boarded the vesel. David
Anderson, a tavern-keeper of Selborne (alias Suckertown), near
Port Stanley, and Chase, a grain buyer of the latter place, were
found among- those on board, both wounded, the former mortally
in fact, he died within a few days. Anderson was an Irishman
of desperate character, who had been seen by many of those now
about him at Selborne but a few weeks before. For that
neighbourhood was now well represented at Amherstburg.
Besides John Bostwick, son of the Colonel, a subaltern in the
troop, and his brother, Henry, no less than four of the Meeks'
James, John, William, and Thomas were out to help repel the
invasion, as also Garrett and Light, both merchants of Port
Stanley, two Tomlinsons, father and son, and others. Anderson's
remains were brought ashore after his death and interred.

In all, twenty-one men were found aboard the Anne one killed,
eight wounded, and twelve prisoners, according to Colonel
Radcliffe's return* and a large quantity of arms, ammunition and

Guns now in front of Municipal Building, Amherstburg ; longer one from schooner Ann*,
shorter one from Fort Malien.

*See Colonel Radcliffe's letter in appendix. Also letter of J. K. Woodward
to E. Ermatinger of loth January, 1838.


equipments, with three pieces of cannon. It formed a considerable
portion of the equipment and munitions intended for the main
force of the invaders, still on Sugar Island, in American territory.
Among the prisoners were General Thellarf, Colonel Dodge, and
Captain Robert Davis, who was said to have been the author of
the Canada Farmer, a publication issued in Buffalo the previous
summer, and also to have been master of the schooner. Thellar
was accused of disobedience of orders in firing upon the town
without a demand for surrender, and of the ill-fated manoeuvres
which led to the capture of the vessel. He was now wounded
by a shot in the eye. He told Trooper Samuel Williams
next day that he had removed the bullet with his own hand,
and without serious injury to his sight, though the eye seemed
in a dreadful condition to the trooper, who visited him, in company
with another militia man, at the guard house the morning
after his capture.

Dressed in a uniform ornamented with two silver stars, which
were also conspicuous on the Patriot ensign, Thellar sat and
conversed with the militiamen, informing them, as the fact was,
that he had had no intention of landing, being, as yet, unprepared
to do so, but was firing into the town by way, as he said, of
"waking them up." Thellar, it may be here mentioned, was
removed at first to London with the other prisoners, afterward
to Toronto, and while confined with Hull, Dodge, and others
in the citadel at Quebec managed, with Dodge, to make his
escape. An interesting account of this exploit is given by
Kingsford, the historian, who states that he met Thellar
subsequently in Panama, where he was keeping an hotel. He is
described as a bold and courageous, though boastful, man.
He wrote an untrustworthy book on the rebellion and his share in
it, and died in California in 1859*. Captain Bob Davis died a
few months after being taken.

Colonel Radcliffe, who was in command of the western

fThellar, it is said, delivered his sword to Lieutenant W. L. Baby, of the
Kent militia, and, being wounded, was carried ashore on the back of the
same officer. See W. C. Baby's Souvenirs of the Past.

*See Dent's Last Forty Years, page 188, note.


frontier at this time, was a peninsular officer who had settled
in the township of Adelaide. He had served with the 2yth Innis-
killens, and had been in twelve engagements. He was at a ball at
the house of Dr. Phillips when word came of the threatened invasion
of the western frontier. The ball was broken up and he and the
officers of the regiment he had just raised left to call out their men
and march to the frontier. They could not get farther west than
Chatham, however, owing to a thaw, but the Colonel, with two
or three others, descended the Thames, Lake St. Clair, and the
Detroit River to Sandwich, and thence marched at the head of a
small force to Amherstburg in time to take command before
Thellar's capture. He was subsequently appointed a Legislative
Councillor and removed to Toronto, where, in 1841, he became
Collector of Customs. He is described as six feet four inches in
height, twenty stone in weight, and of great strength and power
of endurance yet his death at the comparatively early age of 47
is attributed to disease, the seeds of which were contracted in his
journey by open boat from Chatham west, as just mentioned.

Six companies of the 24th and 32nd regiments, with four field
pieces, marched to the frontier, via Chatham, in the middle of
January. Colonel Maitland, of the 32nd, then assumed command.*

On the 24th February another Patriot expedition under McLeod,
another General, was driven from Fighting Island, below Sand-
wich, and a field piece and a large number of new muskets,
stamped as United States property, taken, for which achievement
two companies of the 32nd and 83rd regulars, a detachment of
royal artillery, and the gallant body of volunteers and militia who
accompanied them were thanked by the Lieutenant-Governor
Colonels Elliott and Askin, of the 2nd Essex militia, Captain
Ermatinger, of the St. Thomas cavalry, and Lieutenant-Colonel
Prince being specially mentioned, as well as Captain Browne, of the
32nd, Lieutenant Kilsall, of the 83rd, and Captain Glasgow, R.A.

At the beginning of March Colonel Bradley, with a force of four
or five hundred men, was sent from the American side to take
possession of Pelee Island. the most southerly of British North

See letter of Colonel Askin to magistrates at St. Thomas, i6th January,
1838, in appendix.


American territory, now famous for its vineyards and wine. This
force was composed entirely of United States citizens, who,
crossing the lake from the south by means of boats and the ice,
succeeded in occupying the Island, making prisoners of the few
inhabitants then upon it. McLeod was, it is said, to follow with
a still larger force. Colonel Maitland had succeeded to the
command at Amherstburg, and detachments of the 32nd
and of the 83rd regular regiments had reached there via the
Talbot road during the winter. Two or three hundred
militiamen had also come from the neighbourhood of St. Thomas
and other parts of Middlesex about the same time, but had since
returned again. The St. Thomas cavalry were, however, still on
duty patrolling the Lake Erie shore from Amherstburg east, as
well as escorting prisoners to London. Colonel Maitland learned
that militia officers had been fired upon when approaching the
island, and that persons who had gone from the mainland had
been detained as prisoners, and he sent Captain Glasgow, of the
artillery, on the ist March to test the strength of the ice. By
noon next day Colonel Maitland received word that it was practic-
able for artillery, and made preparations for an attack at daybreak
next morning, 3rd March. His force was numerically about equal
to that of the enemy, being made up of four companies of the
32nd, one of the 83rd, two six-poumders, 21 men of the St.
Thomas cavalry, and some Essex mounted men.

In the afternoon of the 2nd March, a clear, bright, and cold
winter's day, the men fell in, and the order to march being given,
the forces moved down the river to the lake, which was reached
at sunset. Out upon the ice moved the force, turning their backs
upon the fast-disappearing sun as they marched down the lake
over the frozen surface About eleven o'clock a halt was called for
the rest and refreshment of man and beast at a tavern in Colchester.
At one o'clock in the clear, cold morning of the 3rd of March the
little army once more moved out upon the ice to cross Pigeon Bay
and the channel of the open lake to Pelee Island. The winter and
the frosts had been exceptional, to admit of the marching of such a
force, with its artillery, across an expanse of some twenty miles.
The cavalty were upon their horses, but some without proper


arms or accoutrements. The artillery had their horses and two
six-pounders. The infantry were in sleighs. The whole force
was under the pilotage of Captain Fox, of the Essex troop.

By sunrise they were within a half mile of the island the home
of the McCormacks and the enemy's sentry having given the
alarm, the entire force was seen to turn out, the glittering
bayonets in the rising sunlight showing that they were well
equipped, and then to retreat across the clearing into the woods.
Captain Browne, with two companies of the 3 and, and the cavalry,
was detailed to intercept the flight of the invaders from south of
the island, when Colonel Maitland should have driven them from it.

When Maitland's force, including the artillery, reached the
shore, the enemy had entirely disappeared, leaving a kettle of
potatoes boiling on the fire, and other provisions. The thickness
of the wood and depth of snow impeded the pursuit by land.
Captain Browne's infantry companies proceeded in the sleighs
around the island until they reached the track across the ice by
which the invaders had come from the American side, and by
which they expected them to retreat.

Trooper Samuel Williams of the St. Thomas troop gave the
writer a narrative of what followed, as witnessed by himself.
Mr. Williams, it may be added, was a man of unimpeachable
integrity and truthfulness, mild and gentle in disposition, who
died in St. Thomas at a ripe age some years ago. His elder
brother, Thomas patron of the Thomas Williams Home for
indigents in St. Thomas had come up to Amherstburg with a
detachment of militia, but had returned home again. Samuel
Williams' account of the Pelee Island action is as follows :

"After our troops crossed the point of the island we struck the outlet of a
marsh, and saw the enemy crossing the marsh in retreat. Captain Ermatinger
sent successive messages to Colonel Maitland for reinforcements, but the
Colonel had sent the troops onto the island and they were out of reach. The
Captain examined our arms and told us we would have to fight. He said he
hoped every man who was spared to go home would not be ashamed of having
been there. Our arms were only such as we had taken with us. Some of
the enemy's arms were picked up on the island as we went and I was given
one of these. We were dismounted while we waited for reinforcements and
watched the enemy crossing the marsh. Their line reached across the marsh


a distance of about two and a half miles. The Captain, after scanning our
arms, ordered us to re-mount, and having given us hope of reinforcement, led
up towards Captain Browne's detachment, whom the enemy were approaching.
As we proceeded we saw the sleighs retreat, and the soldiers were strung out
in a long line across the ice, like fence posts. The enemy were approaching
them at a quick march. We could not see them just at first. They
approached Captain Browne's force in solid column, and then spread out in a
line about the same length as that of the British infantry. There were about
500 of the enemy. Captain Browne had 90 men and our troop then numbered
but 21. Both sides fired simultaneously. We got none of this volley. We
were approaching at a gallop. We heard the enemy call out, ' There comes
the cavalry ! Fire on them.' They did so and the bullets whistled around
us. We were coming on their flank. We halted and fired. The infantry
charged with fixed bayonets at that moment in face of a heavy fire from the
enemy. When the infantry were within about six rods of the enemy, the
latter retreated in disorder, running like wild turkeys every way, leaving five
killed, while we had one soldier and one trooper, Thomas Parish, slain on the
spot. The enemy retreated to the island, staining the snow for a quarter of a
mile in width with blood. I saw Parish, as I supposed, loading. He was on
his knees and was shot. The Captain put him on his horse and held him
there, and brought him up and called for help to take him off his horse,
saying, ' He's a dead man.' William McCormack, who had gone out as a
teamster, helped take him from his horse. An alarm was just then raised that
the enemy was crossing further down towards three other islands there.
Captain Browne said to Captain Ermatinger, ' Captain, take your men and
chase them ! ' He did so, flourishing his sword and leading us until his
horse's foot broke through the ice, when he called to us to wheel to the right
and left. We did so. We knew we were getting on thin ice. The enemy
appeared to be crossing on this and so made their escape, though it is said
that many went through the ice and perished. We went back and followed
their trail on the island and found a great many of their wounded, having
their wounds dressed at Fox's house. We had no food (neither horses nor
men) since nine o'clock the night before, and it was about that hour when we
reached the mainland and got food again. It was reported 28 of Browne's
infantry were wounded and one died before reaching the main shore. The
two infantry men and Parish were buried with military honours on Monday,
the 5th March, 1838. The troop returned to St. Thomas in June, though I
with some others returned earlier. Two more infantrymen died from their
wounds before we left."

Roswell Tomlinson, another trooper, wrote an account of the
engagement also, in the main agreeing with that of Mr. Williams.
He said the British fired first, the enemy returning it with great
precision, and spoke of Parish having- been shot dead on his horse



while riding between his (Tomlinson's) father and Thomas Meek.
He said it was 1 1 p.m. before they, tired and hungry, reached the
mainland, that they remained there until next day (Sunday) and
after a scanty meal started for Amherstburg and got there in the
evening, completely fagged out, having had about four hours'
sleep out of the 48 hours which had passed since they had set out
from Amherstburg.

Both Tomlinson and Williams spoke with much feeling of the
good and brave qualities of their Captain (James Ermatinger) who
is described as having been beloved by all his men.

On a neglected lot on a side street in Amherstburg the writer a
few years ago found the monument erected by the citizens of
Amherstburg to the brave men who gave their lives for the
defence of the province against the foreign force which invaded
Pelee Island. The inscription reads as follows :

" This monument is erected by the inhabitants of Amherstburg in memory
of Thomas McCartan, Samuel Holmes, Edwin Miller and Thomas Symonds,
of H. M. 32nd Reg. of Foot, and of Thomas Parish of the St. Thomas


Volunteer Cavalry, who gloriously fell in repelling a band of brigands from
Pelee Island on the Third of March, MDCCCXXXVIII."

It is to be hoped that, if this monument is still in the condition
in which it was when seen by the writer, it may yet be restored
and its surroundings improved.

It may be stated here that Mr. Lindsay in his life of McKenzie
says that " General McLeod dispatched Colonel Seward with
about four hundred men to Point au Pele" Island," and that "on
the 4th of March McLeod was on the point of joining" them, when
he received a dispatch from Colonel Bradley informing him that
they had been defeated, with the loss of fifteen or twenty missing,
and retreated to the American shore." McLeod placed the
British loss at fifty or sixty and a great number wounded a
rather disproportionate estimate, considering that he acknow-
ledged a defeat which was principally attributed to the want of
artillery ! Lindsay says nine prisoners were taken by the British,
among whom was General Sutherland, who was taken on the
mainland by Colonel Prince under circumstances which gave rise
to suspicion of Sutherland's fidelity to the cause of the rebels.
The legality of Sutherland's arrest was subsequently questioned
and he was released from the citadel of Quebec after the English
Law officers had pronounced against it. Colonel Bradley, who is
said to have sent an account of the affair to McLeod on the 4th, is
stated by Kingsford, as well as by Trooper Roswell Tomlinson
above mentioned, to have been killed, shot in the forehead the
latter says, and killed instantly, by a sergeant of the regulars,
which threw the enemy into a panic. Besides Bradley " Major
Houdley and Captains Van Renssellaer and McKeon and seven
others " were reported to have been left dead on the ground by
the invaders. Several of the prisoners taken were reported
wounded, while 40 more wounded men were said to have been
carried off in sleighs which they had in the woods. A large
tri-coloured flag with two stars and "Liberty" worked upon it,
and several U. S. muskets, with swords and ammunition, were

*George Kerr of St. Thomas, the octogenarian veteran already referred to
in connection with the loyalist expedition to meet Duncombe at Scotland,


In an appendix will be found the names of those who composed
the St. Thomas cavalry troop at that time, so far as can be

In July they were called out again. Not many of the old
troopers responded, but new recruits filled their places. Sixty
strong, they lay in St. Thomas until fall. They were then
ordered to London and brigaded with one of the regular regiments
there. The Simcoe troop, under Captain Wilson, joined them
there. Carrying dispatches now formed one of their chief duties.
There was also a local troop at London, the captain of which was
the father of Hon. Mr. Justice Robertson, lately of the High
Court of Ontario, and one of the troopers D. J. Hughes, since
Judge of Elgin county. The St. Thomas and Norfolk troops
spent many months in garrison at London until the close of April,
1840, when they were disbanded, receiving the approbation of
the commanding officer of the district, Colonel Love of the 73rd
regiment, on their improvement in drill and discipline.

Bierce, an Akron, Ohio, lawyer, succeeded General Handy in
command of the "army of the North-West. " On the 4th
December, 1838, he crossed from Detroit to Windsor with a con-
siderable force though many of his men failed to await the
attempted invasion. They landed at a short distance above the
village before daylight and marched down to the barracks, where
a detachment of militia was on duty under Captain Lewis. These

informs the writer that he was present at the engagement at Pelee Island.
After his return from Scotland, being then a young active fellow, he was sent
with dispatches to McNab's force, opposite Navy Island, where he was when
the Caroline was cut out. On his return he was handed a dispatch by Mr.
Hodgkinson at Aylmer to carry to Amherstburg. On the way home he fell in
at Kingsville with Major Nevill and other militiamen with whom he crossed
on the ice to Pelee Island on the morning Maitland's force reached there. He
says on his arrival there the enemy and their sentries were all sleeping so
soundly that his party passed through their lines unperceived. He was
familiar with the island, having visited it with his father, who came from
Nova Scotia, and was engaged by the British authorities to sail a vessel
laden with goods from Chippawa to Mackinac, when they touched at Pelee
Island en route. Mr. Kerr is still hale and hearty, with memory apparently
unimpaired, though somewhat deaf, at the advanced age of 86 years.

A number of recruits, got together by Mr. Duck from Howard township,
joined the troop on its return from the island Charles Grant, sr., Jos. and T.
B. Richardson, Peter Lampman and C. Collins, and from Harwich two
Englishmen, Reeks and Baker. Mr. Grant acted as bugler.


opened fire upon the enemy, killing- one of their officers and
wounding- several men. They continued to resist the advance of
the foe, until their ammunition exhausted, those who failed to
make their escape were obliged to surrender. The barracks
together with the house of Francois Jannette and another occupied
by Mr. Retter were burned to the ground ; a negro named Mills,
for refusing to join the invaders, was shot, and the Thames, the
pioneer steamboat of the Lake Erie North Shore route (which, the
writer is informed by Mrs. J. H. Wilson of St. Thomas, was then
the property of her father, Geo. Ryerson Williams, and Captain
Van Allen though otherwise stated to have belonged to Duncan
McGregor) was fired and burned to the water's edge. Some
accounts of this affair state that the militia officer in command,
Captain Lewis, was killed. This mistake appears to have arisen
from the officer in the invading force who was slain, being known
also as Captain Lewis. The militia officer in question was in civil
life the deputy clerk of the crown and a druggist of Sandwich.
He made his escape from the barracks, and on his way to Sand-
wich met a detachment of provincial volunteer militia under
Captains Sparke and some sixty men of Colonel Prince's Essex
militia advancing to the relief of his garrison. Continuing their
advance, this force came in contact with a considerable party of
the enemy in an orchard belonging to Francis Baby and opened
fire upon and speedily dispersed them, killing several, with the
loss of but one of their own men, of Captain Elliott's company.
Colonel Prince ordered the militia force back to Sandwich to
defend that point from an anticipated attack and guard the
ammunition, guns and provisions there. Among those who took
an active part in this action, known as the " Battle of Windsor,"
were, besides the officers already named, Captains Fox, Elliott,
Bell, Thebo and Leslie and Adjutant Cheeseman, while James
Dougall, Charles Baby and W. R. Wood were active in giving
intelligence of the enemy's movements. Meantime a further
detachment of the enemy, who had remained with Bierce in the
vicinity of the barracks, was advancing, and near the spot where
their companions had been dispersed they were met by Commissary
Morse and Dr. Hume of the regular medical staff, the latter of


whom, while attempting* to escape from the force, whom he and
his companion had mistaken for friends, was shot down and his
body mutilated.

On the arrival of a detachment of Colonel Airey's regiment, the
34th, under Captain Broderick, with a field piece, from Fort
Maiden, an advance was made upon Windsor, but the enemy did
not await their arrival. Some succeeded in crossing the river by
boats and canoes, one man being killed while crossing by a
shot from the gun said to have been aimed by Lieutenant Airey.
Others, unable to obtain the means of crossing, fled into the
woods, where some were said to have perished miserably from
cold, starvation and exposure. A considerable number were
captured as prisoners and held for subsequent disposal. Bierce
exhibited special regard for his own safety throughout, notwith-
standing the bombastic proclamation made by him " to the people
of Canada " on landing.

Four were killed and as many wounded on the side of the
defenders, while of the enemy some 32 fell during the day and
more than as many more were, then and subsequently, captured.
Of those who fell, four were prisoners who had been ordered to be
shot by Colonel Prince, " and it was done accordingly " to quote
his now famous report.

The action of Colonel Prince in ordering the four prisoners shot
aroused excitement in England and an investigation was ordered
and evidence taken at Sandwich. The Colonel was, however,
acquitted. So exasperated had the inhabitants become at the
repeated incursions, and so unsatisfactory the experience with
prisoners from Thellar's capture to that time, that, previous to
Colonel Prince's action, a public meeting in Sandwich had, it
appeared, resolved, that, in the event of another incursion of Ameri-
can sympathizers, no more prisoners should be taken, but the inva-
ders should be shot down. A dozen or more respectable persons
had, however, signed a document condemning the Colonel's
conduct, and to these his answer was a challenge to mortal combat.
He exchanged shots with one, an Englishman named Wood, whom
he wounded. The inquiry ordered by the authorities intervened to
prevent the other meetings.



Whatever may be thought of Colonel Prince's summary mode
of dealing with the captives, it seems to have produced the
salutary effect of preventing further attempts at invasion on this
frontier, though marauding parties crossed the Niagara and St.
Clair rivers during the summer and committed serious depreda-
tions before they retreated or were captured.

Baby Mansion at Sandwich entered at different times by Hull, Brock,
Proctor, Harrison and Tecumseh.



WHILE, as has been seen, the province was invaded during 1 the
year '38 at several points, expected invasions at others created
much stir and alarm. At Port Stanley, for instance, a descent
was expected in October, and a despatch from Niagara stating
that 40,000 rebels were ready to cross the lake and land at three
or four different points on this side, caused some consternation.
A company of regulars was moved from St. Thomas to the Port,
and 80 militiamen mustered there.

"You cannot see Port Stanley for the people," wrote Mrs.
Williams (mother of Mrs. J. H. Wilson, of St. Thomas) on the
last day of October to her husband, George R. Williams, then at

The night the rebels were to have landed, an alarm was given
about midnight and three vessels were reported off the harbour
almost at the mouth of the pier. The bugle sounded, and two
shots were fired, fortunately without effect for the approaching
craft which rounded the pier, carrying a light, was discovered to
be a canoe containing Captains Nevills and Jones, who narrowly
escaped destruction at the hands of their friends.

The ladies of the Bostwick and Williams families who were
related were, naturally, alarmed, and had prepared for flight into
the interior, but, as in the case of Captains Nevills and Jones,
they found they had more to fear from their protectors than from
the enemy ; for the Bostwick's cellar was invaded by the troops on
their arrival, and a quarter of mutton and sixteen pounds of
butter were gone in a flash. The Captain was informed and the


men severely punished, but as to the ultimate fate of the mutton
and butter, local history is silent.

The rebellion was the cause of many incidents which would
have been amusing, were they not fraught with serious conse-
quences to the persons most affected. Americans and advanced
Liberals were alike regarded with extreme suspicion. Many were
the victims of prosecutions, some of petty persecutions. It has
been seen that John Talbot's Liberal newspaper at St. Thomas
was suppressed. The inoffensive merchant, Bela Shaw, of the
same place, being an American, whose store was a sort of
Liberal rendezvous, was regarded with the greatest suspicion.
He was invited to join the volunteers who went to meet Dr.
Duncombe and his army, and considered it impolitic to decline the
invitation. He was not a man of war and, no doubt, felt very
uncomfortable in witnessing the rough treatment and spoliation
of some of his political friends by the loyalists. After his return
Colonel Burwell made an effort to have him imprisoned, but could
not prevail on the magistrates to do so on insufficient evidence.
Eventually he sold out and left the country for the States, where
he lived to a good age.

Among those who became the victims of unjust suspicion, as
well as annoying persecution, was one who was destined to
attain a high position in the district. The Leonard family,
consisting of father, mother, four sons Lewis, Elijah, Lyman,
and Delos and several daughters, emigrated from the Eastern
States to this province in 1830, settling at first at Normandale, in
Norfolk, where, being workers in iron, they were engaged in the
works then carried on by Mr. VanNorman. In 1834 the family
came to St. Thomas and Elijah, having formed a partnership with
his father and a Mr. VanBrocklyn, began work as an ironfounder
in a disused axe factory leased from Mr. Anson Paul, in what was
known as Hog Hollow, near the New England mills lately owned
by the Turvills, but then by the Pauls, a New England family who
had established mercantile, milling, and other industries in that
part of the Kettle Creek valley.

A year later Elijah Leonard, who had succeeded to the foundry
business, moved up town and erected buildings where the Canada


Southern railway passes the St. Andrews market. They were
subsequently enlarged to an establishment of considerable
dimensions, after Elijah Leonard's departure to London, by his
partner, John Sells. The works up town were only well started
when the rebellion broke out, and business was practically at a
standstill. Mr. Leonard, in despair, determined to move to
Michigan, but after a trip to the west, returned to St. Thomas
and remained.

The Leonards, being Americans, were subjected to all kinds of
annoyances. Elijah was arrested four times. One charge, that
of having munitions of war in his possession, seems ludicrous
enough now, but illustrates the temper of the times. Let Mr.
Leonard's own words tell the story :

" One charge against me was lodged by one of my most intimate friends,
who laid information with Squire Ermatinger that I had cannon balls on my
premises. Squires Acklyn* (a great big tyrant of a Scotchman), and
Chrystler were associated with him on the bench. I was summoned to
appear, and made my statement as follows : ' I had bought a sloop-load of
these cannon balls from Captain Mallory, who had purchased them at
Amherstburg from the condemned military stores at that point. The balls
had accumulated there during the war of 1812.' After hearing me the
magistrates retired. To judge from the length of time they took to decide
the case, I had a narrow escape from jail. Squire Chrystler was favourable
to my discharge, and I overheard him say, 'Let the boy off. There is
nothing in the charges. He is only fulfilling the scripture by beating swords
into pruning hooks, or cannon balls into plow points ,' so I was finally let go,
but I never forgave my friend for the trouble and injustice he meted out to
me. I was using these balls up as fast as I could. They were hard enough
to melt, without being arrested for the task ; it required great care to keep
them suspended long enough in the charcoal to melt."

On another occasion he was arrested "for being on the street
after parole time," and taken before the same bench of magistrates
who discharged him on its appearing that the man who summoned
the guard and had him arrested was intoxicated.

As an indication of the esteem in which Mr. Leonard was
afterward held in the community, however, it is only necessary to

Could Mr. Leonard have been here referring to Mr. Gideon Ackland, the


say here that he was, some twenty years later, elected to the
Malahide division of the Legislative Council by a large majority
over so able and popular an opponent as Mr. H. C. R. Becher,
and sat as a Senator of Canada from confederation till his death.
He established one of the leading industries of London, and
amassed wealth. His brothers and their families have been
among the most respected citizens of the settlement.

South Yarmouth was among the most disaffected of the parts
of the west from which the rebel forces were recruited. It was
claimed for Colonel Talbot that few of his settlers were implicated
in the movement, but that most of those who were, had acquired
their lands by purchase from those parties to whom the Govern-
ment had granted them, prior to Colonel Talbot's application
though he had selected these lands for his settlement at first.
Jonathan Doan became the agent for the Baby lands. His sons were
actively engaged in the outbreak, and a considerable number of
their friends and neighbours also marched to join Duncombe's
force. Most of them, presumably, took no further part, but
Joshua Guillam Doan, one of the sons of the original settler
above referred to, was more rash, or more patriotic, according to
the light in which the whole movement is viewed. He made his
way to Detroit, and joining Bierce's force, crossed to Windsor.
He and Bedford, of Norwich, and A. Perley were captured, and
with Albert Clarke and Cornelius Cunningham, of Beachville, and
Lynn, an American sympathiser, suffered the extreme penalty at
London, after trial by court-martial*. This court was constituted

*The following pathetic letter has been published, of recent years, by Mr.
William Harrison, of Bayfield. It is addressed to " Mrs. Fanny Done, at
Mr. Buscerk's, London," and is said to have been found in the sleigh of Mr.
John Davidson, then of Port Stanley, who had overtaken a lady on the road
(possibly the wife of the condemned man) and driven her into London, and it
may be surmised that she dropped the letter before alighting. It is as
follows ;

" London, 27th January, 1837

" Dear Wife, I am at this moment confined in the cell from which I am to
go to the scaffold. I received my sentence to-day, and am to be executed on
the sixth of February. I am permitted to see you tomorrow, any time after
ten o'clock in the morning, as may suit you best. I wish you to think of such
questions as you wish to ask me, as I do not know how long you will be
permitted to stay. Think as little of my unhappy fate as you can, as from the
love you bear to me and have ever evinced, I know too well how it must affect


as follows : Colonel Bostwick, president ; Colonel Perley, of
Burford ; Major Barwick, Blandford ; Major Beale, Woodstock,
Judge Advocate ; Colonel James Ingersoll, and George W.
Whitehead, of Burford.

George Lawton, an Englishman, was a leading and turbulent
spirit, politically, in south Yarmouth, and indeed, throughout the
County of Middlesex. He possessed strong opinions and consid-
erable power as an orator, and when the outbreak occurred, did
not fail to respond to Buncombe's call to arms. Being a leader,
he was sought for, but, with a number of others, made his way to
the border, and after suffering many hardships including it is said,
fifty-two hours without food crossed the St. Clair River, not to
return until the lapse of several years had calmed the public mind,
when he once more appeared and spent the remainder of his days
in the beautiful township where his home was.

Dr. Wilson of Sparta was suspected of disseminating the seeds
of disaffection throughout South Yarmouth either in person or by
means of his cream-coloured horse and another rider. The horse
changed his allegiance and subsequently, bestridden by a loyalist
colonel, took part in putting down the outbreak. Not so the
doctor, however, who, suspected of complicity in the acts of a
large body of the disaffected who assembled in Pelham township,*
was arrested at the house of Richard McKenny in the 5th conces-
sion of Malahide in the summer of 1838, and sent to London for
trial. He, however, survived to subsequently make a claim for
the horse under the rebellion losses act. The family of McKenny
referred to sold out and left for Illinois. They were not, it is

you. 1 wish you to inform my father and brother of my sentence as soon as
possible. I must say good-bye for the night, and may God protect you and
my dear child, and give you fortitude to meet that coming event with that
Christian grace and fortitude which is the gift of Him, our Lord, who created
us. That this may be the case is the prayer of your affectionate husband,


It will be observed that the address and signature are not according to the
now generally accepted spelling of the name. "1837" must have been
intended for " 1839" otherwise the letter would bear date two years prior to
the executions.

*See letter of L. Lawrason, Esq., in appendix.


understood, related to the family of that name still residing- in

Less fortunate, however, was John Tyrrel of Bayham, who was
one of those transported to Van Dieman's land, whence he
returned after several years' exile.

Instances might be multiplied indefinitely of those who, through-
out the settlement, suffered for the cause they had espoused, of
those whose families were forced to suffer obloquy, deprivation
and ostracism for their deeds and of others who suffered merely
from suspicion.

Sir George Arthur, who succeeded Sir F. B. Head as
Lieutenant-Governor and was the last occupant of that position
before the union, adopted a merciless policy toward those con-
victed ot rebellion, which has ever since been severely criticized.
Contrasted with recent British treatment of political offenders in
South Africa, this policy seems now to have been most unneces-
sarily severe. The contrast illustrates the progress of liberal and
humanitarian views during the sixty odd years which have since
elapsed, rather than the individual severity of a governor of that

For marauders such as those who composed the greater part
of the invading forces in the west the whole of the large force
which crossed to Pelee Island sympathy would be misplaced.
They were not inaptly termed "brigands," who crossed the
border chiefly for plunder and their individual aggrandisement.

Though feeling ran high throughout the whole of the Liberal
ranks at the time of the outbreak, it was a small minority of that
party who were prepared to go the length of taking up arms.
Had the intention of the British administration to grant respons-
ible popular government been made known in time, it is improbable
that even a demonstration would have been attempted. Of course
there were a few here and there who preferred republican to
monarchial government,! "who would have been dissatisfied with
anything short of a complete subversion of the form of govern-
ment, but these would have been so insignificant in number as to
render anything like a popular outbreak impossible. Those who
turned out to join Buncombe from Yarmouth were settlers


principally from the United States and presumably of this class.
The curious feature of it all was that they were largely Quakers
or of Quaker parentage and so professedly or by training, sons of
peace. The intensity of their political feelings on the one hand or
of their preference for republican institutions on the other, may be
judged from their taking up arms at all. Of course those who did
so were by no means representative of the whole body of the
Society of Friends even in that locality. They are for the most
part a most industrious, peaceable people, who have been
excellent, law abiding citizens and good neighbours from that day
to the present. A member of one of their families, Elias Moore,
was twice elected in the troublous times of 1835 and 1836, with
Thomas Park of London, to represent the county of Middlesex in

The war of 1812, through bitter experience, taught the people
of the Canadas self-reliance. The rebellion, through experience
almost as bitter, prepared them for self-government.


IN THE '40*8.

MENTION has elsewhere been made of the coming to the township
of Aldborough of certain settlers who had crossed the ocean with
one or other of the parties brought into the Red River country via
Hudson's Bay by Lord Selkirk. In 1838 there came from the
north-west, of these Selkirk settlers, another family, some of whose
members were destined to fill conspicuous places in the Talbot

George Macbeth brought with him from the Red River settle-
ment to the township of Dunwich a family of five children, the
eldest of whom, named after himself, was then but twelve years
of age. His other children were Donald, Alexander, John and
Christina, afterwards Mrs. McPherson. Three others were born
in Upper Canada, Robert, Isabella (Mrs. Whyte) and Catharine.
The father subsequently moved to Euphemia township, but the
eldest son, George, took up his residence with Colonel Talbot in
1839, and his brother Donald did the same a year later.

Colonel Talbot was now growing old. His long years of
privation and hardship in the wilderness were beginning to tell
upon him. Mrs. Jameson remarked the somewhat neglected
appearance of his farm, for lack of an overseer. Since the days
of Pickering it had no doubt been left to the care of such " help "
as could be secured in the neighbourhood. The Colonel's duties
as land agent occupied much of his time both at home and
abroad, while his advancing years forbade his adding to these
duties the wielding of the axe or handling the implements of
husbandry or even the oversight of those engaged in these occu-
pations. Jeffry Hunter, too, was fallen into the sere and yellow


leaf, or absorbed by family cares, and was no longer capable of
acting as the Colonel's right hand man. The Colonel in short
needed an active, trustworthy man who could fill the place at once
of personal attendant and business and farm manager, and such
an one he found in the sturdy young North-West Highlander,
George Macbeth, who, as he developed from youth to manhood,
gradually became not only the personal companion and attendant,
but the trusted adviser of the Colonel in everything.

Mention has been made of the visit of Colonel Talbot's brother
William to Port Talbot in the early days. William was a rolling
stone who afterwards drifted to Australia or Tasmania, where,
after having got into hot water with the governor of the colony,
he finally died. The Colonel, as his estate grew and the chances
of his ever establishing a family of his own if he ever at any
time contemplated such a thing diminished, sought to find in
another branch of his family a suitable heir to his estates. With
this view came Julius Airey, one of his sister Catharine's sons,
who spent a year or more with him, and, as has been seen, saw
some service with the St. Thomas cavalry in the campaign of
1838. This excitement over, young Airey soon found life at Port
Talbot too dull and his uncle's habits too full of eccentricity to be
endured, even with the prospect of ultimate affluence. So he
returned to the old country.

His eldest brother, Richard, who, when on the staff of Lord
Aylmer, had visited Port Talbot, and had been taken ill at
Quebec and returned for a time to England, was in 1838 stationed
with the 34th regiment, of which he was the commanding officer,
at St. Thomas, only twelve miles from his uncle's residence.

The father of these nephews of Colonel Talbot was Lieutenant-
General Sir George Airey, the husband of Talbot's third sister,
Catharine. He died in 1833. His widow, who had borne him
six sons and three daughters, survived until within a year of
Colonel Talbot's death.

While the presence of his nephew, Col. Airey, pleased Colonel
Talbot, the presence of his regiment in St. Thomas enlivened the
little town greatly. When they turned out for church parade,
headed by their band, Alfred Allworth and other music-loving


young fellows of the place were delighted and the~delight was
not confined to the male sex, one may be sure. Trade in the
village looked up and such orders as " arm racks for 300 men,"
" 246 pegs in barracks," etc., gladdened the heart of Alexander
Love, the furniture manufacturer of that day. J. K. Woodward,
too, the whilom banker and paymaster of the cavalry troop, had
built the buildings occupied as barracks and so no doubt was for
the time being equally benefited with Dennis O'Brien of London,
who was said to have made enough out of his, from their occupa-
tion by the military, to pay for their erection. The barracks at
St. Thomas were, however, of wood, and in the end went up in
smoke, after a quick conflagration. Possibly Woodward had
some insurance. His Agricultural Bank, on the other hand, went
down ; and he completed his career in the settlement as a miller
at Selborne, near Port Stanley.

The rebellion and other causes had brought about business
changes in St. Thomas. About the year 1835 John and William
McKay, two young Scotchman, who had previously lived a short
time in the township of Plympton, and then managed the business
of the Hon. Isaac Buchanan at Clearville, came to St. Thomas
and commenced a mercantile business at or near the corner of
Talbot and King streets, where, after two losses by fire, a
substantial brick building was subsequently erected in which the
business was conducted, and in which John McKay, after his
marriage, dwelt until the time of his death. Meantime the
brothers had a mother and sisters to look after. They married
sisters, daughters of William Sells. William, after his marriage,
moved across Kettle Creek and made his home on a picturesque
spot at the confluence of Dodd's Creek and Kettle Creek where
the first Presbyterian minister, Mr. McKilligan, previously dwelt.
Both McKays became prominent officials of the county of Elgin
in after years, John having taken an important part in bringing
about the separation of the county. Meantime they were one of
the leading Reform firms of the village for business and social
intercourse followed politics pretty closely in those days of
political stress and strain. Another prominent firm of Reformers
were Hope afterward Hon. Adam Hope of London and Ham-


ilton and Thomas Hodge, his brother-in-law. They succeeded
Bela Shaw in all except the post office. That fell to Edward
Ermatinger, and Alfred J. Allworth claimed to have transported it
to its new quarters at the corner of Church street in a bushel
basket. Hope and Hodge soon had for a next door neighbour in
business, another firm of Reformers, William and James Coyne,
sons of Henry Coyne of "Coyne's Corners." William Coyne
continued in business in St. Thomas with varying success for
more than fifty years his brother James going to London after a
dozen years or so in the older village. Hope and Hodge became
agents of the Gore Bank and moved to the corner of Talbot and
Port Stanley streets, by the market. Drug stores were then
adjuncts to almost every doctor's practice, and that of Kent and
Southwick had for junior partner the handsome young Doctor
Southwick, who studied with Dr. Duncombe, and was now com-
mencing practice afterward member for East Elgin in parliament
while Dr. Rolls, of whom Colonel Talbot spoke so highly to
Hon. Peter Robinson, and the diminutive Dr. Wade sold drugs
as well the latter's little shop hard by the Talbot Mansion House
hotel, at which the four-horse stage coach between London and
Port Stanley pulled up to change horses, their advent heralded by
a long blast from the coachman's horn as they dashed along
Talbot street.

Meantime the old-time Tory firm of Hamilton and Warren,
whose senior partner had become sheriff of the district and lived
at London, was dissolved, and James Blackwood, already men-
tioned as the brother-in-law of Sir James Innes, reigned at
Stirling, in the valley, in their stead. Blackwood was a fiery and
enterprising Scot, who strode down Talbot street with a proud
step, a pack of well-bred dogs at his heel. He gathered about
him soon a number of young men. Thomas Arkell and W. K.
Kains were of the number. Charles Roe came in '43, John
Ardagh Roe a few years later. They were sons of Dr. John Hill
Roe, who came from Ireland to St. John's, Lower Canada, in
1832, and was drowned ten years later in the river near Lake
Champlain. These and his younger brother, Andrew, became
Blackwood's business associates a few years after. When his


palmy days were past, his brother Robert, a more cautious man,
succeeded him, and traded successfully both in St. Thomas and
Fingal. The Scottish Lowlands, too, had a representative in St.
Thomas of the forties, and for long years after, in the person of
Joe Laing.

That picturesque part of the valley lower down the Kettle
Creek than Stirling", misnamed Hog Hollow, had meantime
become a hive of industry. Anson Gould had established a wool
carding and cloth-dressing mill near the various milling, brewing
and distilling industries of the Pauls, but his light was
dimmed for a time by his incarceration in London jail as a
suspect in the rebellion days. Stephen Comfort, however,
managed the mill in his absence, and when released Gould
resumed his business. Finally he sold to James Black wood, who
erected a large six-story mill, with a distillery adjoining, on the
hillside south of the small creek now flowing from Lake Pinafore.
A large mill pond formed above the raised embankment of the
present gravel road supplied power to these several industries.
A break in the dam carried away Paul's mill and litigation between
Paul and Blackwood ensued. At one point in the suit
the fiery Scot brandished a chair, threatening to brain the
inoffensive plaintiff, but James Shanly, who was presiding,
intervened to prevent possible bloodshed. In 1851 Blackwood's
mill was burned. The woollen mill was dismantled, part of
the machinery going to Haight's at Union and part to a
neighbouring smaller building, where Stephen Comfort's nephew
Hiram, by years of patient industry, accumulated wealth while
the ruins of Blnckwood's great mill became effaced by time and
the large water wheel of the dismantled woollen mill swung round
only when daring youths clambered upon it from above to enjoy a
swing from the momentum imparted by their weight and the
mill pond vanished from the flat where now the cattle graze.

In the spring of '43 an event occurred in St. Thomas which
created a sensation as great and memories as lasting as those
produced by McArthur's raid or the advent of the British troops.
While Farnham, a corpulent carpenter, was quietly working at
the bench in his shop on the hillside almost opposite the present


Hutchinson House, he was suddenly confronted by a huge bear
which rose, as if from the lower regions whence in fact it had
come. The honest sweat on the carpenter's brow turned icy
cold. He dropped his tools and fled. The bear had clambered
up the ladder which led from the slanting ground below to a trap
door in the floor of the shop, having first crossed the creek and
climbed up the hill. Now he followed Farnham out of the street
door #.nd ambled down Talbot street toward the Mansion House.
John Beaupre, the landlord, stood at the entrance. He stepped
within and closed the door with celerity. Bruin quietly pushed it
open and made his way to the bar-room. Here he went behind
the bar and helped himself to a drink from a small tub used for
washing glasses, breaking a glass or two standing beside it.
The noise of breaking glass first attracted the attention of the
only occupant of the room, Dr. Elijah Buncombe, who was
unaware that any other than himself was there. Stepping
to the end of the bar, he took a glance behind. One glance
sufficed. He fled to the kitchen, slamming the doors behind him
as he went. Bruin, too, became alarmed at being thus shut in,
and making for the nearest window, went through it with a crash,
carrying the sash with him, about his neck, for half a block or so.
Young A. J. Allworth and the village barber had seen the strange
visitor enter the hostelry and were peeping through the window
by which Bruin made his exit. They beat a hasty retreat, but
soon joined with a great part of the population in the pursuit
which followed. The bear made in the direction of old St.
Thomas church, down the hill, swimming Kettle Creek at a point
where some workmen were building a bridge for the London and
Port Stanley plank (now gravelled) road, then being constructed
under the superintendence of Mr. (afterwards Sir Casimir)
Gzowski. One of the workmen dealt a blow with his pick at the
bear as he clambered up the bank. The latter rose on his hind-
quarters with outstretched arms. To evade the preferred hug the
workman hid in the brush of a freshly felled tree and Bruin
passed on up Turvill's hill, Allworth and the usually placid, good-
humoured William McKay in the van of his excited pursuers.
On Turvill's hill an Indian, who had joined in the pursuit, put a


bullet into the beast and an end to the hunt. Enterprising David
Parish closed a bargain with the Indian for the carcass on the
spot. John Dodd, who had started the game from his woods to
the north of the town, is said to have set up a claim and to have
secured the skin as his share. This is, however, denied.

Accounts indeed differ as to many details of this memorable
event such as, whether Bruin entered Talbot street through
Farnham's or Hugh McNeil's shop, whether he cut across lots
from the Talbot Mansion House to Walnut street, his pursuers
seeking to head him off by Church street ; whether he passed
through the churchyard or down by Mr. VanBuskirk's distillery,
where Lucius Bigelow made potash in earlier days when the
accounts of such veteran authorities as the late A. J. Allworth and
the surviving Ted Langan (albeit then but 10 years old) differ as
to these details, the historian must needs deal cautiously with the
points in question. Time has no doubt added encrustations to the
original facts, which in the main are, however, as already narrated.

An omitted chapter has been supplied to the writer by an aged
lady (Mrs. R. B. Nichol) then living in St. Thomas, though
unfortunately not an eye witness. Her account or rather that
of current gossip of that day is that the bear passed beyond the
distillery, and being hard pressed, entered the open door of the
dwelling where Mrs. McKay and her daughter were living. He
made his exit by a window in the rear, but not before Miss Jean
McKay, overcome by fright, had fallen in a faint. Daniel Macfie,
a young Scotchman, then employed in the business of the
McKays, had joined in the chase and pursued the bear off the
premises, but now remained behind in the dwelling to help
resuscitate and comfort the frightened young sister of his
employers. Nor did he join further in the hunt. As corroborative
evidence of this added incident, it may be mentioned that Miss
Jean McKay afterwards became Mrs. Macfie and her husband a
leading business man and a respected and wealthy citizen of

Ross and Mclntyre, who began business as harness and leather
merchants in 1841, and White and Mitchell, who commenced a
general business as merchants some ten years later, enlarged the


map of St. Thomas by laying" out extensive tracts of building 1 lots,
the latter firm in conjunction with Dr. Southwick, on the Davis,
formerly McNeal, farm. The former firm joined with M. T.
Moore, the well-known tanner, and first mayor of St. Thomas, in
plotting a tract on the adjoining (Barnes) farm to the east.
The names of all six are perpetuated in St. Thomas in the
nomenclature of the streets of those districts.

The wooden structures which comprised the business portions
of St. Thomas in the 30'$ and 40*5 were largely swept away by
successive conflagrations, and business moved ever eastward.
The three leading taverns, with their tall sign posts and swaying
signs, their lower and upper galleries, where sometimes hung a
huge iron triangle which rang out an invitation to the public at
mealtimes the rows of little stores and shops standing as it were
on stilts along the crest of the hill, the barracks and the pioneer
Methodist church on Port Stanley street, in which the troops were
housed for a time when driven from the barracks by fire all
reduced to ashes save a few stray tenements, since torn down,
transformed or moved away to disclose to view again the
beauties of the landscape to the north.

While the soldiers occupied the church building just referred to,
after the burning of their barracks west of Church street, their
parade ground was changed from one in rear of the latter to the
present St. Andrew's market ground behind the old town hall.
The site of the latter building was then occupied by a house used
for a guard-house, attached to which was a small shop kept by a
Mrs. Scanlan, who, like most small traders in those days, dealt
in that cheap and popular beverage, whiskey. Two or three
anecdotes have been narrated to the writer by Ted Langan, the
veteran turnkey of the St. Thomas gaol, which will illustrate the
degree of popularity which the beverage dispensed by Mrs.
Scanlan attained among the soldiery in those days. Langan,
then a little boy, was one day in Mother Scanlan's little shop,
which candy tempted the young to frequent, when his attention
was attracted by the sound of rapping on the wall in the direction
of the soldiers' guard-room. He watched the proprietress go in
the direction whence the sound proceeded and, removing a


covering-, disclose the mouth of a tin funnel which penetrated the
wall, into which she forthwith poured a cup of whiskey. Subse-
quent investigation in the soldiers' guard-room showed the
presence of a tin vessel, which, when removed from the wall,
uncovered the outlet of the mysterious funnel, and, when held
beneath, caught the liquid transmitted by Mrs. Scanlan. Their
officers meantime wondered how it was that the incarcerated
soldiers managed to preserve their cheerfulness while disgraced.
The sentry box stood between Hope and Hodge's warehouse
and the church used as a barrack. The sentry paced the street
in front. One day the boy referred to was summoned by the
sentry, who handed him sixpence and requested him to bring some
whiskey from Mrs. Scanlan's, on the other side of Stanley street.
A request from such an authority as the sentry to a small boy was
in the nature of a command. He promptly brought the whiskey,
which a motion from the soldier directed him to deposit in the
sentry box, to whose seclusion the sentry presently retired.
Curiosity impelled the boy to await developments, when, to his
surprise, he saw the soldier remove the stopper from the barrel of
his musket and coolly pour into the latter the contents of the
vessel he had just brought and once more resume his duty. This
was all the boy saw, but it is surmised the muzzle of his gun was
presented to the heads of friends and probably to his own
rather than to enemies, that day by the sentry.

An equally ingenious and more convenient device was adopted
by some of the soldiers. Another boy observed one of them pour
a cupful of whiskey down a tube, formed of the intestine of some
animal, which, wound round the soldier's body, led up to a point
beneath his tunic just below the chin, from which a sip could be
taken at his convenience when opportunity offered. Enquiry at
Parish's slaughter house by the enterprising youths elicited the
fact that quite a number of these convenient attachments had been
disposed of to the soldiery.

Before leaving St. Thomas of the thirties and forties it may be
mentioned that the Tory and loyalist Journal of the thirties had
disappeared, and the Standard, ultra-loyalist also, was raised in
its stead, and lived for a few years as the local Tory organ. In


February, 1851, another Standard was announced, chiefly an
advertising medium, and at about the same date Mr. N. W.
Bate, a son of the former barrack master, began the publication
of the St. Thomas Watchman in the foundry buildings, corner of
Port Stanley and Centre streets. It had not a long life, though
Bate was long a printer in St. Thomas, and from time to time
produced other publications, the best known of which was a semi-
weekly called the Rough Notes. Bate was also a jockey of great
local reputation, who usually led in the annual Queen's Birthday
races in St. Thomas for many years. The light of the St.
Thomas Liberal had been extinguished, as has been seen, in '37.
The St. Thomas Chronicle, published by Messrs. O'Reilly and
Newcombe, was the local Reform organ in the early forties.
They sold out their press and type to the proprietor of the
Standard in '44 and the Chronicle ceased. In 1846 Mr. L. C.
Kearney, an Irishman, with an extremely flowery literary style,
who had been connected with the London Inquirer, began the
publication of a new Reform paper in St. Thomas, called the
Canadian Freeman.

In connection with the demise of the St. Thomas Chronicle a
singular incident occurred, connected with the development of
responsible government in the province. It has already been
mentioned that Thomas Parke had been twice elected in conjunc-
tion with Elias Moore of Yarmouth and he was in 1841 once more
returned, this time alone, as the member for Middlesex in the first
parliament after the union. All along he had fought with the
Liberals for responsible government. His party came into power
and Mr. Parke was appointed Surveyor-General. On Lord
Metcalfe taking the reins, the memorable controversy between the
Hon. Robt. Baldwin and the governor led to the former and his
friends going into opposition. Mr. Parke, who retained both his
office and seat, wrote a letter to his friend, Adam Hope, of St.
Thomas, defining his views, which Mr. Hope published in the
Chronicle. His views on the subject of patronage were those of
the governor and not of his former political associates. The
Toronto Globe and other Liberal journals denounced him. He
still held to his contention that Baldwin and his friends were now


fighting for a policy of proscription, political and religious, seek-
ing to govern for the benefit of one party only. He sought for
re-nomination in Middlesex. Conventions were held and he
fought the matter out with the members of his party at St.
Thomas. Mr. Hincks brought Mr. Notman, a lawyer of note,
from Dundas, who at length received the party nomination.
Edward Ermatinger was the Conservative candidate, and through
his paper, the Standard, denounced Mr. Parke as strongly as did
most of the latter's former friends. Parke still persisted that he
was in the right, and all three candidates went to the poll. The
vote at the close of the poll stood for Mr. Ermatinger 1,000, for
Mr. Notman 993, for Mr. Parke 46. Mr. Ermatinger was
declared elected. He had been defeated in the previous election
(1841) by Mr. Parke, the vote then being for Parke 842, for
Ermatinger 602. The St. Thomas Chronicle ceased publication
almost with the issue in which Mr. Parke's letter appeared. A
series of resolutions proposed in the house by Mr. Ermatinger in
June, 1847, regarding the repeal of the Corn Laws in England,
which may be found of some interest in view of the political
agitation now going on in the motherland, appears in an appendix.
It remains to be said that St. Thomas became incorporated first
as a village in 1852, with David Parish as its first reeve. The
old town hall, which bears on its face the date 1851, was erected
by the township of Yarmouth. The village took it over and paid
the township for it.



LONDON, in the forties, was enlightened by a number of successors
to the original Sun, whose light had long since gone out, but
whose editor, E. A. Talbot, made an attempt to establish the
London Freeman's Journal about 1839. The Gazette, published
by T. and B. Hodgkinson, and the Canada Inquirer, by C. H.
Hackstaff, were, however, the Conservative and Reform papers,
respectively, of London in the early forties. The former was in
its fifth volume in 1840, and the latter had been established before
that year. Both were weekly papers, and both were published in
Ridout street the court house square being still the chief centre
of London. By 1847 the town had so far spread its business that
Joseph Cowley was publishing the London Times "in Richmond
street, near the English church and independent chapel." It was
a weekly paper too, as was also at first the Canadian Free Press,
established in 1849 by William Sutherland. The latter journal,
however, passed into the hands of Josiah Blackburn in 1852, who,
in 1855, began the publication of the Daily Free Press, the well
known and widely read journal which has continued down to the
present day. The Western Globe, though purporting to be
published at London, where it was issued to the public by Gordon
Brown and W. H. Niles, successively its agents, was, in reality,
printed at Toronto.

With such continuity in journalism, it is less difficult to trace
the local history of the rising capital of the district than in the
very early days.

The regular troops being now withdrawn from St. Thomas,
London had become the garrison town of the west, with usually
more than one regiment of infantry^ as well as artillery and





From Illustrated London (Copyrighted) bv permission of London Ptg, &> Litho. Co.


engineers. The country having once more settled down , the officers,
by 1840, were catering to the amusement of the civilians, as well as
amusing themselves, by public dramatic performances at the
Theatre Royal.

There was an ample military reserve between Waterloo and
Richmond streets, extending from Bond street, now Dufferin
avenue, on the south to Carling's Creek on the north, some
twenty-four acres. On this were erected infantry barracks, the
first entirely of logs, it is said, and east of Wellington street,
about where Wolfe street now is ; then frame barracks west of
Wellington, and artillery and commissariat buildings at the north-
east angle of Wellington and Bond streets. The parade ground,
with its stump fence, to the south of the infantry barracks, has
been already referred to. North of these barracks the land was
subsequently, for many years, used for exhibition purposes.
Henceforth London was destined to be one of the chief military
stations in Canada, its streets gay with red coats, its social life
and habits largely influenced by their presence.

As district capital, too, the town was of growing importance.
Judge Allen had succeeded Judge Mitchell as district judge, and
in 1847 Judge Givens took the place of Judge Allen. Of the
old officials, Colonel Askin and John Harris remained, while
James Hamilton was sheriff and James B. Strathy, district clerk,
Joseph B. Clench, of Delaware, license inspector, and William
(afterward Judge) Elliott, Superintendent of Schools. Mr. Henry
C. R. Becher had, in 1840, an office on King street, opposite the
south end of the court house. William Horton, barrister, had, in
January, 1840, an office a few doors east of Joyce and Matthews'
store, Dundas street.

Mr. Horton, an Irishman by birth, came in childhood with his
father to the township of Elizabethtown, studied law in Brockville
and was called to the bar in 1839. He had previously served
with the militia, and was present at the battle of the " Windmill "
at Prescott, when Von Schultz surrendered. He subsequently
rose to the rank of Major in the militia, became Recorder of
London and Deputy Judge. He lived to be the oldest legal
practitioner in London, as did his brother Edward in St. Thomas,


where the brothers finally united in partnership and both died, of
recent years. They married sisters, daughters of Richard
Richardson, the pioneer bank manager of London. Both were
kindly, generous hearted men, whose practice in both towns and
the district generally was at one period very extensive. Thomas
Scatcherd, already elsewhere referred to, also began a long and
honourable career at the bar in the forties.

One of the most notable additions, after these, to the legal
profession in London of the forties was Ephraim Jones Parke, the
son of Thomas Parke, the builder of the court house and Surveyor-
General referred to in the last chapter. Young Parke was born
at York in 1823, studied law with Sir John A. McDonald and Sir
Alexander Campbell at Kingston, and afterward with John Wilson
at London, where he began practice in 1846 at No. 9 Dundas
street. He practiced at Woodstock for a short time, but soon
returned to London, where he continued in practice for the rest of
his life, which covered, chiefly, the latter half of the century. It
may be here mentioned that he married, in later days, a daughter
of Dr. Southwick, of St. Thomas, at one time M. P. for East
Elgin, and that he became, after Mr. Lawrason, the police
magistrate of London.

There were, in all, some seven lawyers and an equal number of
doctors in practice in London in the middle of the forties among
the latter Dr. Henry Going, Dr. Moore, Dr. Anderson and Dr.
John Travers. Druggists, too, were not wanting, the veteran
John Salter's pestle and mortar being in evidence opposite the
court house, and Lyman Moore and Co.'s on Dundas street.
William Gunn and Co., Smith, Moore and Co., Douglas and
Warren, L. Lawrason, Lawrason and Chisholm, Edward Adams,
Hope, Birrell and Co., Angus and Birrell, J. and J. Dougall, John
Norvall, bookseller these names and others might be recalled as
evidence of London's mercantile life in the forties.

The hum of industrial enterprise, too, began to make
itself heard. It disturbed the serenity of the Harris family
at Eldon House, among others. When Elijah Leonard came over
from St. Thomas, recognizing with American shrewdness that the
refusal of an offer from the military authorities for a property for


military purposes at the latter town meant a " boom " for London,
he established his foundry at the corner of Ridout and Fullerton
streets and commenced to manufacture there, on completion of his
works, in 1839. He used horse power at first, and, among other
things, a fan about four feet in diameter. " It did me good
service," wrote Mr. Leonard long afterward, "but made such a
horrid noise that it proved a nuisance to the whole neighbourhood,
especially so to my friend, the late John Harris, whose dwelling
(the old Eldon House) was nearly opposite. Mr. Harris declared
that his wife and daughters had to leave the house when we
commenced to melt, but I could not afford then to make a change.
However, I got it to operate with less noise, and
replaced it with a double crank piston bellows." In '42 or '43
Mr. Leonard went to Cleveland, in company with Mr. Chas.
Hope, who was taking over a ship-load of lumber for sale. There
he saw a steam engine cylinder and some parts unfinished. Mr.
Hope could not dispose of his lumber to advantage, so it was
turned in trade for the engine and paid for by Mr. Leonard, who
soon put the parts together and fitted them in his works.
Mr. Leonard said :

"This was the first steam engine, so far as I knew, started in Western
Canada, and it did continuous and good service until 1866, when it was

destroyed by fire I well remember when we started it for the

first time. Not only did my fellow-townsmen turn out in good numbers, but
some came from St. Thomas to see this wonderful piece of machinery start
off. They nearly filled my little shop. We carried the steam from boiler to
engine in cast iron pipes, and the steam was admitted by an ordinary stop-
cock to the engine. The plug of this cock had not been properly secured, and
when the steam pressure got up a few pounds it blew out with considerable
noise, immediately filling the room with steam. Oh, such a scattering of
spectators ! Windows and doors were not large enough to let my friends
out. They were awfully frightened, and tumbled over each other in their
excitement. I knew pretty well what was the matter, and crawled under the
steam and screwed the plug in its place. The engine went off nicely, but I
never could get some of my friends nearer than the door afterward."

By 1845 this enterprising manufacturer was advertising the
manufacture of steam engines at his own works, and having
already built one for Paul and Rhykert in St. Thomas, he soon


after obtained and filled orders for others for E. W. Hyman's and
Simeon Merrill's tanneries, and Mountjoy's veneer mill, all in
London, and others outside.

In 1840 the town of London was, by a special Act, placed in
charge of a president and board of police. This government
continued for seven years. The seven presidents are fairly
representative of the town as it then was. They were, in the order
of service, as follows : George J. Goodhue, James Givens,
Edward Matthews, James Farley, John Balkwill, T. W. Shepherd
and Hiram D. Lee. The names of the clerks during the same
period were Alex. Robertson, D. J. Hughes, W. K. Cornish (two
years), George Railton, Thomas Scatcherd, and Henry Hamilton.

In 1847, by reason of the increase of population and commerce,
this government was found insufficient and a new Act was
procured, placing the town affairs in the hands of a mayor and
council. The town was also to embrace all the lands comprised
within the old and new surveys, together with the lands adjoining
and lying between such surveys and the River Thames producing
the northern boundary line of the new survey until it intersected the
north branch of the river, and producing the eastern boundary
line of the same new survey until it intersected the east branch of
the river. This new government continued until the incorporation
of the city of London in 1855, the mayors, in the meantime, being,
in order of their election, Simeon Morrill, Thomas C. Dixon,
Edward Adams and Marcus Holmes.

The fact has been already mentioned that Colonel Mahlon
Burwell, one of the former representatives of Middlesex in the
provincial parliament, was, in 1835, elected the first representative
of the Town of London in the House*. He was succeeded in 1841
by the Hon. Hamilton H. Killaly, who thus became the member
for London in the first parliament after the union of the pro-
vinces. Mr. Killaly was one of a number of Irish gentry who had
settled in London township, where he had a farm. He was an

*Freeman Talbot is authority for the statement that this election resulted in
a tie, the candidates, Burwell and Scatcherd, receiving- but 37 votes each, the
returning officer, presumably, giving the casting vole. Thomas Cassick is
named as the first voter. The writer has not been able to verify, but has no
reason to doubt the statement.


engineer by profession, and was appointed by Lord Sydenham a
member of his executive council on lyth March, 1841, and was sub-
sequently made president of the Board of Works of the province,
serving- under Sir Charles Bagot after Lord Sydenham's death in

On the evening of Monday, 7th March, 1842, his constituents
gave a dinner in his honour at the Robinson Hall hotel, to which
about seventy of the inhabitants sat down. The popularity of the
guest was evidenced by the fact that fully one-third of the seventy
gentlemen present, including several active members of the commit-
tee in charge, were described as opponents of their guest at the
previous election. The importance of his department to London,
in common with the rest of the province, in the matter of roads and
other works, was frankly recognized in the speeches. " George J.
Goodhue, Esq., presided and Dr. Anderson acted as croupier," to
quote from the Inquirer's report of the affair, " both of whom
conducted the business of their departments with great good taste
and to the perfect satisfaction of the party assembled." The
arrangement of the table and decorations of the room were
admirable. Though rather crowded, there was ample accommo-
dation for all to enjoy the proceedings. " The beautiful device of
St. George and the dragon, supported upon each side by the flags
of St. George and St. Andrew," the Scotch thistle, and appropri-
ate and beautiful engravings, were among the decorations. The
band of the 83rd regiment discoursed music in the adjoining hall.
The loyal toasts of the Queen, Prince Albert, the Prince of Wales,
and the Governor-General, prefaced by a graceful speech, fervently
loyal, containing a reference to the recent birth of an heir to the
throne, were proposed by the chairman, as was the toast of the
evening, the health of the guest.

Mr. Goodhue made a tactful reference to the manner in which
Mr. Killaly had been secured as a candidate one who knew the
wants of his constituents and could urge them in the house. A
feeling allusion to the first waggon put on these roads for the
conveyance of Her Majesty's mail known as " the bone bruiser ''
was made. " My bones," said the chairman, " to this day bear
witness that the name was very appropriately given." The guest


responded in the happiest manner, saying that Sir Charles Bagot,
the Governor-General, was so ardent in his desire to complete the
public improvements of the county that the blame would rest with
him (Mr. K.) if unnecessary delay occurred in their completion.

A list of the remaining toasts and their proposers will be of
interest now. Mr. Killaly gave the health of "Mr. Goodhue and
the constituency of London," the vice-chairman "the memory of
the late Lord Sydenham" who had recently died drunk in solemn
silence Colonel Askin "The Ministry," W. W. Street Esq.,
*' The Army and Navy," the sheriff "The Fair of Canada," James
Farley Esq., "England, Scotland and Ireland," A. Keir Esq.,
"Colonel Wetheral, Col. Trydell, and the garrison of London,"
Dr. Anderson "Thomas Parke Esq., our member for the
county," T. Keir Esq., "The Liberty of the Press," A. S.
Armstrong Esq., "Canada," "Civil and Religous Liberty,"
"The House of Assembly," "Board of Police," "London
Mechanics Institute," and numerous other toasts and as numerous
speeches followed from which it may be inferred that the closing
statement of the report is correct "that the whole business of
the evening passed off to the entire satisfaction of everybody, and
was kept up till a late hour with spirit and hilarity." A very
considerable number of those assembled were stated to be
teetotallers, who, if they were invited to take wine, took water,
which became the subject of numberless jokes. The belief of the
reporter is expressed as being ' ' that the teetotal cause was
essentially benefited on the occasion," because its advocates
could display at once their sincerity and their freedom from
bigotry. It would be interesting to know at this day, however,
whether the teetotallers all sat out the proceedings to the end.

In 1844, Mr. Lawrason, who defeated Mr. John Duggan,
succeeded Mr. Killaly in the representation of London and during
his second session gave place to the Hon. W. H. Draper who
had become government leader in the assembly, who held the
seat until his elevation to the Bench, when in 1848 John Wilson
became the town's representative in parliament on the Conserva-
tive side. Lord Elgin was now governor-general and the second
Lafontaine-Baldwin administration in power. On the rebellion


losses Bill being- carried, Mr. Wilson denounced the riotous
proceedings which followed, and was blamed for showing sym-
pathy with rebels (he had defended a number of the rebel prisoners
when on trial), and having incurred some censure at home for his
course, resigned his seat to test the question, and was re-elected
without serious opposition. He continued to represent London
until 1851. when he was defeated by some 12 votes by Mr. T. C.
Dixon, a hatter of the town and a Tory. In 1854, he, in turn,
defeated Mr. Dixon, and once more resumed the representation of
London in the House.

Mr. Wilson's defeat by Mr. Dixon was attributed, in some
measure, to his being charged with an indiscreet reference to the
Irish population on the floor of parliament. Similarly an
unguarded expression said to have been used by Edward Erma-
tinger at London in referring to his Scotch opponents, imme-
diately after his election for Middlesex, in 1844, referred to in the
last chapter, was made use of against him at the next election
with telling effect. Mr. Notman, whom he had defeated in 1844,
got his revenge in 1848, notwithstanding that George Lawton, of
Yarmouth, having returned from exile since the rebellion, pub-
lished a three column address in opposition to the non-resident
lawyer, denouncing the nomination convention, from which he had
been excluded, as a packed body and finally announcing himself
as a candidate.

As in St. Thomas, so also in London, successive conflagrations
changed the face of things. The old frame church, St. Paul's,
was appropriately enough reduced to ashes on Ash Wednesday,
February, 1844. The foundation stone of the present edifice was
laid in presence of a large concourse of people by Bishop
Strachan of Toronto on 24th June following. Meantime the
congregation worshipped in the old Mechanics' Institute, a frame
building on the court house square.

On 8th October, '44, about 2 a. m., a fire broke out in a back
kitchen attached to a store then lately occupied by Mr. John
Claris, then by McKeand & Bell. Dixon's hat shop, Birrell's
extensive dry goods store and Craig's bookstore were next
consumed. Then the whole block in which they stood was


consumed. Every effort was made to limit the fire to this block.
What followed will be given in the language of a correspondent
of the St. Thomas Standard, both for the sake of accuracy, and
that his thrilling style may be compared with the " write up " of
similar scenes by reporters at the present day :

All was done that human ingenuity could devise, or human intrepidity
could accomplish ; but all was done in vain. It swept with unabated fury
from its eastern bounds across the street. Five buildings, comprising
Balkwill's hotel, Mr. Tyas' store, Mr. Gibbin's saddler shop, and three other
buildings, broke at once into a spontaneous and brilliant illumination, awfully
in contrast with the feelings and faces that mournfully gazed on the terrific
spectacle. "The town is gone ! " was now the spirit-broken cry ; but it was
not so to be. The awful instrument of wrath, like an irresistible sister
element, was held in check by the hand of mercy, and thus far and no farther
was it allowed to go. A space between its present position and Mr. O'Brien's
dwelling house occurring, formed as it were, the gap between the living and
the dead. Intense apprehensions, however, were entertained for the
Robinson Hall and adjacent buildings, at the western end, but the brick store
of Mr. John Grey happening to terminate the opposite extremity, and thus
taking off the intensity of reflecting heat, the fire did not communicate. The
brick store, with indefatigable assiduity, was saved, but it passed behind and
up Ridout street, turning at North street, principally comprising barns and
stables, which were all consumed, until it completed the devastation of the
entire block at the north-eastern corner.

In all about thirty buildings were consumed. Major Holmes
and his Fusiliers rendered valuable assistance and the town fire
company "behaved in a gallant and distinguished manner."
Happily, no life was lost.

The Robinson Hall and adjacent buildings did not long escape
a similar fate. On Sunday, i3th April, '45, while service was in
progress in the Mechanics' Institute already referred to, a fire
broke out in the Robinson Hall hotel across the way. The result
was the most disastrous fire in the history of London up to that
and for a long time after. About 150 buildings were consumed.
Again the military the 2nd Royals did good service in guarding
property and preserving order. The district bounded by Ridout,
Dundas and Talbot streets was completely swept.

Not alone in fires did the history of St. Thomas repeat itself in
London. In the year following that in which the bear invaded

From Illustrated London. (Copyrighted.)

From Illustrated London. (Copyrighted.) By permission of the London Ptg &* Litho. Co.


the Mansion House bar in St. Thomas, a member of the same
family possibly a near relative visited London and a living
witness to his death in the river just below the court house still
survives in the person of Verschoyle Cronyn, Esq.

The great fires, while they entailed much suffering, greatly
improved the character of the town's buildings and the general
appearance of the place. Handsome streets of brick buildings
three and four stories in height took the place of the old frame
structures. A new brick Robinson Hall hotel became one of the
proud features and the leading hostelry until its proprietor, Mr.
Bennett, projected the present " Tecumseh House." Balkwill's
"Hope hotel," the "Western hotel," the "London Coffee
House" with "Lee's" and "Scott's" meantime furnished
comfortable accommodation in 1845-6.

The town now (1846) possessed ten churches of various
denominations a daily postal service, with stages leaving over
improved roads (thanks to Killaly) daily for Hamilton, Chatham
and Detroit, three times a week for Port Sarnia and Port Stanley
and twice a week for Goderich. A weekly newspaper they liked to
call them " hebdomadals " then the Times, held the field alone for
a time. The population numbered 3,500. The registrarship was
that year vacant, but John H. Caddy continued to do business as a
land agent. The Upper Canada, Montreal, Commercial and Gore
Banks had agencies in the town.

The year 1849 was memorable in the history of London as being
the year of Lord Elgin's visit. He had been mobbed in Montreal
and the parliament buildings had been burned by rioters who took
that mode of expressing dissatisfaction with the Rebellion Losses
bill, under which those who had suffered loss on the rebel or
patriot side in the rebellion were to be indemnified. London's
representative, Mr. Wilson, though elected originally as a Con-
servative, had taken ground against these actions of the adherents
of his party, and was sustained by his constituents, as has been
seen, in the course he took. A large number of the Tories in the
west determined to mark their disapprobation of the Governor-
General's course in not withholding his assent to the bill, upon
the occasion of his visit to the west. James Blackwood, of St.


Thomas, headed a procession of well nigh 100 teams from the
south, while from all directions came hotheads ready for any mad
project which would serve to show a public outburst of resentment
against the Queen's representative. The arches and other
decorations raised in honour of the approaching- visitor were
attacked with axes and destroyed. William Coyne of St. Thomas
was one of those who suffered from a blow on the head for
attempting to stop the spoliation. Riot and even bloodshed
seemed imminent and wild disorder reigned. Mayor Dickson,
with Murdock Mackenzie of St. Thomes and Mr. Lawrason and
Mr. Mathews of London, rode out to intercept Lord Elgin at
Nilestown, where he had stopped for luncheon at Mr. Niles', and
endeavour to dissuade him from entering the town. The governor
was not a man to be intimidated. " I am going- into London"
was his only response to the delegation, and into London he went,
escorted by so strong a phalanx of Liberals and lovers of law and
order, that the rioters saw that further resistence was useless.
At the Robinson Hall the Governor-General's procession halted,
addresses were presented and Lord Elgin's clear-toned voice and
well rounded sentences were heard by a large concourse, among 1
whom were many whose feelings were still bitter against him.

Lord Elgin was the guest of Mr. Goodhue during his stay, and
that evening- at a dinner in his honour given by his host met many
of the leading men of all parties. John Wilson, member for the
town, was of course present, also his broher-in-law, D. J.Hughes.*

Many governor's have entered London since that day, but none
whose entry was made under circumstances so trying, nor
carried out with a better grace on the part of the distinguished
visitor, than was Lord Elgin's in 1849.

*The writer has been informed by Judge Hughes of an interesting fact in
connection with Mr. Wilson's life, illustrative of his sterling character. His
father had left Paisley, where he had been a shop-keeper, and came to
Canada, leaving a number of debts unpaid. On his son attaining sufficient
means, he went to Scotland and paid off all these creditors, those who did not
expressly waive their claim to interest, receiving it as well as the original
debt in full. This action of Mr. Wilson enabled his father to return to his
native land without any feeling of dishonour. A similar course of conduct on
the part of the Hon. Geo. Brown, as regards his father's Scotch creditors, was
brought out, it is said, during a debate in which the Reform leader was
taunted on account of his father's having left unpaid debts in Scotland.



A BRIEF survey of the affairs of the settlement generally and of
the progress made therein will now be in order.

Under an act passed in 1837 the county of Oxford had been set
apart as the district of Brock, Norfolk as the district of Talbot,
leaving the county of Middlesex only in the London district.
Kent and Essex still formed the Western district. In these
districts the magistracy in Quarter Sessions continued to hold
sway, not only as to court business as now understood, but as to
the location and alteration of highways and other civil affairs of
the districts. Previous to 1835 they had exercised undivided
jurisdiction in such matters, but from that year commissioners and
other officers were directed to be chosen in each township
who performed a portion of the duties up to that time per-
formed by the Quarter Sessions, including the assessment of
lands and collection of taxes to be paid, however, to the district
treasurers the oversight of highways and other matters within
their townships.

In 1841 district councils were provided for, to be composed of
one or two representatives, according to population, from each
township, with a warden, clerk and treasurer appointed by the
governor all by-laws to be approved by the provincial authorities.
This system prevailed down to 1849. In 1841 Division Courts to
be presided over by the district Judges were substituted for the
former courts, known by the rather polite title of " Courts of
Request," held by two magistrates in each division, for the
collection of small debts.

The first appointed warden of the London district or Middlesex
after the act of 1841 came into force was John Wilson. Among


his earlier duties was the pleasant one of signing- an address to
"the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty," congratulating her upon
the birth of a prince and heir apparent to the throne though sixty
years were to elapse before his coronation.

By the act of 1849 appointed wardens gave way to wardens
elected by the county councils, which took the place of the old
district councils and the municipal system was in other respects
assimilated to that prevailing in the province since.

Before leaving this subject it will be convenient to follow up the
movement for the partition of Middlesex and organization of the
county of Elgin. It began in 1846. In August official notice
was given of an application to parliament for the separation of the
townships now forming the county of Elgin, for the formation of a
new district, and on the morning of the 2yth of the same month
St. Thomas was the scene of a meeting in furtherance of the
project. The St. George's Band made a circuit of Yarmouth,
passing through Sparta and New Sarum and returning to St.
Thomas at noon, the hour appointed for the meeting. This was
held on the balcony of the Talbot Mansion House hotel, which
was gaily decorated. Flags were flying and a diagram of the
old district and banners inscribed, " Our Queen and country, a
division of the district," presented by Mr. J. Walthew, (the father
of the present St. Thomas decorator, and painter of the handsome
coat-of-arms and emblematic picture in St. Thomas court house,*)
were displayed. Murdock Mackenzie presided and Thomas
Hodge acted as secretary. Resolutions approving the proposition
for a division were passed unanimously amid great applause.
Mr. Benjamin Drake offered gratuitously a site for a market
place, court house and gaol, where the two latter were subse-
quently placed. A large executive committee was appointed and
meetings arranged to take the sense of the other townships.
Kearney's Canadian Freeman of St. Thomas and the Western
Globe advocated the change.

It, however, took half a dozen years of agitation before the
separation was effected. Several alternative proposals were put

*The painting escaped destruction, though somewhat damaged by the fire
at the court house in 1898. It was restored by the son, James Walthew.




forward for other divisions east and west in the meantime ; but
at length the arguments that the district as then existing- was
unwieldy, that injustice was done the southern part in the matter
of improvements, that the southern representatives had to pass
through St. Thomas to reach the district capital at London,
which was unduly benefited, prevailed. In 1851 legislative
authority for the setting apart of the new county was obtained.
By proclamation under the hand and seal of Sheriff Hamilton,
the provisional council was called to meet at the town hall, St.
Thomas at 12 (noon) on i5th April, 1852. David Parish was
appointed chairman. Elisha S. Ganson, reeve of Yarmouth, was
elected warden, who gave place to Thomas Locker, reeve of
Malahide, when the first regular county council met on 8th
November, 1853, in the new and handsome county buildings,
with cut stone front, which had meantime been erected on the site
commanding a charming view of Kettle Creek valley to the west,
presented by Mr. Benjamin Drake. Mr. John McKay is under-
stood to have taken an important part in bringing about the
separation of the new county. He became its first Registrar of
Deeds and his brother William, some time after, its clerk.

Thus it came about that the oldest portion of the Talbot settle-
ment, in which its founder had cut the first tree, made his home
for fifty years, and in which his remains had then but a few
months before been laid at rest, now constituted the youngest
county in the settlement, bearing the name of that Governor-
General, whom, on his entry into London in 1849, the successors
of Col. Talbot's old ally, " Col. Hickory," had failed to

With the municipal development of the settlement thus briefly
outlined, a glance may be taken at its general progress and at
that of the various townships, towns and villages comprised
within it.

The two townships, specially reserved for Colonel Talbot's
settlers and his own land grants, had not made progress at the same
rate as other parts, owing largely to the Colonel's having placed
incoming settlers upon government lands in other townships,
holding his own meantime, presumably for better prices than that


at which he was authorized to sell the government lots or
perhaps as a heritage for that beneficiary whom he might choose
to fill the place of heir. Aldborough in 1845 had about 3,500
acres under cultivation with a population of a few more than 700,
chiefly Highland Scotch. Furnival's road had been cut through
the township from lake to river and there were four saw mills.
Dunwich had about the same number of inhabitants as Aid-
borough, with some 3,200 acres under cultivation and two grist
and two saw mills. A footpath only had been cut through from
Talbot road to the river. The Irish were as yet predominant in
Dunwich and in both townships the settlers were reported as being
as yet poor. Mention of a number of the pioneers and their early
trials and struggles has been made in a previous chapter.

On the other hand, Southwold, the adjoining township to the
east of these, had at the same period some 16,000 acres under
cultivation, many thoroughly cleared and well cultivated farms,
two grist and three saw mills and a population of about 2,300,
the Scotch now predominating. It contained three villages,
Fingal, Talbotville Royal or Five Stakes, and Selborne or Talbot
Mills, with a part of Port Stanley also within its borders.
Richard Williams and his English family had in 1817 been added
to the early settlement in the neighbourhood of Watson's Corners,
where dwelt from early days Barber, Watson, Best, Swisher,
Waters, the Benedicts and James Burwell. The latter was a
kinsman of Colonel Mahlon Burwell and father of Samuel, who
was Colonel Talbot's foreman or farm overseer for ten years
subsequent to 1809, and grandfather of the present Fingal
postmaster. George Elliott had come from Ireland at the same
time as the Williams' from England and was engaged in his
small store east of Fingal in amassing that fortune which
descended later to his only daughter, the mother of the late
George Elliott Casey, M. P.* Samuel Garnsey, Ira Gilbert, John

*Colonel McQueen at this time kept the only other store in Southwold, on
his farm a short distance west of Elliott's. With him a young half brother of
his wife's, Amasa Wood, had his early business training. In 1830 Wood
purchased a tavern, built by William Burwell at the corner of Talbot and
Union roads, and set up as a hotel keeper. Levi Fowler, whose sister Wood
married, opened a store near by in '32, and became postmaster of the village


Philpott, the brothers Harris, Jacob Decow and Daniel Mclntyre
were settlers in the " Back street" region from ante bellum days,
while Ferguson, Meek, Campbell and Ewen Cameron were
pioneers of the Union and Lake roads. Joseph Silcox, the
progenitor of the now numerous Southwold family of that name,
had settled in 1817 in the neighbourhood which bears the name
of the place near which he was born in England, Frome. The
Smiths, Millards, Bowlbys, Boughners and others had formed the
Talbotville settlement about 1818, while west of them David
Gilbert, William Sells, the Berdans, Knights, Wade, John
Boughner, the Staffords, Suttons, Orchards, Hamiltons, Hortons,
Paynes, and others peopled the land to the townline near which in
later years Dugald Brown, father of the present sheriff, as well as
the father of the late Sheriff Munro, Nicol McColl, M. P. P., and
his son Dugald, also an M.P. P. of later years made their homes.
The region north of this to the river was an unbroken wilderness
of forest land, until still later days, when the Turners and other
Scottish families arrived and hewed out their homes therein.
Mention has elsewhere been made of some few of the early
settlers in the North street and other regions. To name all the
worthy pioneers, who had made Southwold the fair township it
had become at the close of its first half century, would require
more space than can be accorded here.

Yarmouth, in the forties, was the most thickly settled township
in the London district. It had at this period nearly twenty-four
thousand acres under cultivation. Well cultivated farms, with
good orchards, were numerous, and five grist and ten saw mills
were in operation. The villages of St. Thomas and Port Stanley
were upon its west border, with Sparta and Jamestown in the
south-eastern portion of the township. The latter was formed by

named Fingfal. Wood in '41 joined him in his business, which throve, and
was continued by Mr. Wood after Mr. Fowler had retired. Mr. Wood had
succeeded McQueen as a contractor for supplies to the Indian reserve near by
and soon laid the foundation of a large fortune. He many years after moved
to St. Thomas and founded the Amasa Wood Hospital there and made many
benefactions to his Indian friends of the reserve, before his death. A number
of merchants have since accumulated considerable wealth in Fingal, among"
whom may be named Robt. Blackwood, William Arkell, his nephew, George
McKenzie, and J. P. and Philip Finlay.


James Chrysler Esq., the St. Thomas merchant, after whom it
was named, who established here, a short distance above Port
Bruce on Catfish Creek, about 1835, a distillery, grist and saw
mills, and a store. Scows were employed to convey its exports
and imports to and from the lake at Port Bruce. A considerable
sum loaned from the funds of the Church Society at Toronto, it
is said was sunk at this picturesque site, but the village did not
long survive, and now scarce a vestige remains to prove its former
existence. To this class of extinct villages belongs Selborne, or
Talbot Mills, about a like distance above the mouth of Kettle
Creek, where Hamilton and Warren had built mills. Beside
these, two distilleries, a foundry, two physicians and surgeons, a
druggist, two stores, two taverns, as many blacksmiths, with a
waggon-maker, shoemaker, and tailor, helped to make up a
thriving village, which can now scarcely be termed a hamlet.

These mills and villages at short distances from the mouths of
streams navigable for light craft were not uncommon in the days
before harbours at the lake were constructed, after which their
decay, if not extinction, became inevitable. At a later date a like
effect resulted from the diversion of travel from the old stage and
waggon roads to railways, as many a decayed hamlet along the
former routes will testify.

Already Port Stanley, in the forties, had outstripped the neigh-
bouring village. Beside a large number of stores, taverns, and
tradespeople, with a mill and tannery, it possessed two churches,
and agencies of the "Montreal" and "Commercial" banks.
It was the chief port of entry to the settlement, with a
good harbour, and a grain market which drew processions of
laden sleighs and waggons from far and near. After Colonel
Bostwick, who died in '49, the best known citizen of Port
Stanley and indeed one of the most widely known and
respected men in the settlement was Samuel Price, who came
from Ireland to Canada in '32 and three years later settled in
Caradoc where lived the Rev. Richard Flood, who had known
him from his infancy in his old Irish parish. To this township he
brought out his parents and his brothers and sisters. After
engaging in business with Mr. Ermatinger in St. Thomas for a


few years during- which he took part in the expedition to
Oakland to meet Duncombe Mr. Price came, in 1840, to Port
Stanley, where he spent, the remainder of his life, which ended in
1888. Mention could hardly, during that period, be made of Port
Stanley without mention of Samuel Price, both from his long
residence in the village, his pre-eminent abilities and high
character, and, when excited, somewhat ungovernable temper,
which latter was often played upon by his political opponents to
his disadvantage. Mr. Price's long continued prominence in the
settlement, in which he was several times a candidate for parlia-
ment on the Conservative side, renders essential this mention of
him. He was a merchant and a most efficient magistrate during
his long- residence at " the Port," and for a long time postmaster.
He was another victim of rheumatism, probably first contracted at
Oakland, and his stiffened gait and oaken stick seemed to have
natural counterparts in those of another stalwart tory of Port
Stanley, Major John Ellison, whose voice, though somewhat
husky withal, gave no uncertain sound when communicating the
word of command to the Port Stanley company of "marines" of
a later day. He and his brothers, Richard and Freeman Ellison,
of St. Thomas, were of the third generation of a family of early

The settlers in South Yarmouth were now enjoying a period of
tranquility, and that section was assuming the appearance of rural
beauty, peace and plenty, which has ever since distinguished it.
The early settlements of the Mills's, the Turrils, and the Quaker
families all about the Sparta region had begun to possess the
pastoral charm which has characterised them since. North
Yarmouth was now peopled by a considerable number of Highland
Scotch families the Campbells, Fergusons, Buchanans and others
while along the "Edgeware Road" dwelt the colony which
accompanied Richard Gilbert, of Holdesworth, Devonshire, to
Canada in 1831 namely, his wife and five sons, Richard, John,
William, Matthew, and Marwood, with Duncan Westlake,
Richard Penhale, and Richard Andrew, their wives and families.
Between the north and south were the farms of many old settlers
along the Talbot road, while the cross-roads where, about 1816,


three Johns John Caughell, John Marlatt, and John Hess had
taken up their cornering farms, came to be known as Johnstown,
as it is to this day. New Sarum, on Talbot road, at this period
promised to become a large village a fate subsequently denied it.
Malahide, the township named after Colonel Talbot's old home
in Ireland, had, in the early forties, some twelve thousand acres
under cultivation and a considerable population. Mention has
already been made in a former chapter of a number of settlers
having come from Nova Scotia, who took up land along the first
concession road, since known as Nova Scotia street. They were
preceded by Captain John Saxon, who, in 1816, came from New
Brunswick. Among these Nova Scotia families were the Marrs,
McConnells, Chutes, Mclntyres McDermands, and others, who
came, for the most part, between 1820 and 1830. James and
Andrew McCausland father of Elgin's present respected treasurer
had, a year or so after the advent of Captain Saxton, taken up
land to the north. This locality became the home of the
Doolittles, VanPatters, Benners, Schooleys, Westovers, and
other settlers, and with Nova Scotia street, gives a rural charm to
South Malahide, resembling that of the neighbouring south part
of Yarmouth. Previous to 1826 Colonel Backhouse had erected
grist and saw mills at the mouth of Silver Creek, in Malahide. As
the Colonel is a somewhat historic figure whose name has appear-
ed several times on previous pages, the following glimpse of him,
as given by Peter Russell, the Scotch traveller already quoted on
a previous page, will give some idea of the Colonel, as well as of
prevalent customs. Mr. Russell made his way ten miles through
the forest on a moonlight night to visit the Colonel, who warmly
welcomed him on his arrival, within an hour and a half of
midnight. He says :

"The Colonel is a jolly Yorkshireman, and emigrated to Canada thirty
years ago. He is senior magistrate and chairman for the quarter sessions
for the London district. His principal seat is at Walsingham, near Vittoria,
but he has been here occasionally for a year or two superintending improve-
ments on the Silver Creek Estate, which have already cost him upwards of
$12,000. He has built a grist and saw mill and, at much expense, has erected
a huge mill dam on the sand banks and cleared 150 acres of forest. Mrs-
Backhouse and his youngest son, Mr. Jacob, were at Silver Creek when '


arrived. The next morning 1 we had a choice breakfast, but by way of
anticipation the Colonel helped himself to his morning cup of new milk two
parts, whiskey one part, no stinting. I pledged him, but used the latter liquid
in greater moderation. During our dejeuner a green bottle filled with
excellent aqua vita: was placed in the centre of the board, and mine host
qualified each cup of Mrs. H.'s hyson with about an equal proportion of the
clear liquid from the aforesaid bottle. I attempted in my last cup to follow
his example, but it was not pleasant to my taste. I am strongly inclined to
believe that the worthy Colonel could lay the Dean and the whole chapter of

C under the table, for, notwithstanding that he indulged himself thus

freely, I perceived not the least alteration in his conversation during the

Gilbert Wrong and Nathan Lyon settled on adjoining farms at
the place now known as Grovesend about 1830. At the period
now being dealt with the forties the township exported a large
quantity of lumber and possessed, beside, three grist mills and no
less than seventeen saw mills.

Aylmer, near the centre of the township on Talbot road, was
formerly known as Troy, but had been re-christened in honour of
Lord Aylmer, then Governor General, and was becoming an
important village, the forerunner of the progressive, well-built
town it has since become. It was laid out principally on the land
of Nathan Wood and Charles Gustavus Adolphus Tozer. Though
credited with something less than three hundred inhabitants in the
early forties, the village, nevertheless, possessed a Baptist chapel,
a physician and surgeon (Dr. Williams), two tanneries, three
taverns, as many stores, a number of trades-people, such as
cabinet makers, saddlers, waggon makers, blacksmiths, tailors,
shoemakers, a watchmaker and a tinsmith, with "one ashery and
saleratus factory," the pioneer industry of the present manufac-
turing town. The village of Temperanceville, some two miles
west of Aylmer, boasted, at this period, a population of one
hundred, with taverns, store, and the customary tradesmen all
long since vanished.

East of Aylmer the Lanes, Bakers, Cascaddens, Hutchisons,
Pounds, and other early settlers had long since settled upon fine
farms, now well cultivated. Malahide was, in 1842, credited with
a population of about twenty-four hundred people.


Bayham, to the east of it, possessed in the same year a popula-
tion almost as large, with less than eight thousand acres under
cultivation. The Otter Creek and the large quantity of pine on
its banks rendered Bayham, however, at this period, one of the
busiest townships in the settlement. No less than twenty-five
saw-mills, in addition to three grist mills, kept up a buzz of
industry, and produced an annual export of three million feet of
sawn lumber. The lumber trade was the main support of the
villages of Vienna and Port Burwell, both then about ten years
old. The former possessed about three hundred and the latter
about two hundred inhabitants. Both villages had, as now, an
English church, and Vienna had two Methodist, with a
Baptist place of worship nearby. A physician at Vienna looked
after the health of both villages. No less than eight stores, with
grist, carding and saw mills, the usual distillery and tannery and
mechanics, with the " Red Lion " and another inn, made the larger
village something of a metropolis in those days, while the Port
two miles below, to which its lumber-laden scows were floated
down the Otter, boasted a lighthouse and a Collector of Customs.
Shipbuilding soon began and a large number of vessels of various
sizes were built at Port Burwell. A tannery, stores, taverns, and
artizans were to be found there also. Richmond, also in
Bayham, was one of the numerous places perpetuating the
deceased Governor-General's memory, while Sandytown, to the
east, has since disappeared, being succeeded by Straffordville,
a village a little farther east, where the plank road from Ingersoll
to Port Burwell, constructed in 1850, crossed Talbot street.

Some forty years had then elapsed since the pioneers, Joseph
Defields and James Gibbons, had begun the settlement of the
township by establishing themselves on Talbot street between the
big and the little Otter Creeks. After the war of 1812, in which
several of them took an active part at the front, the Howeys,
Hatches, Highs, Houses, Bowes, Mitchells, Franklins, and
many others had followed, settling along Talbot street. Henry
Stratton had come in time to be "out in "37." Along the lake
shore and the southern parts the Burwells, Edisons, (relatives of
the celebrated inventor and scientist, Thomas A. Edison) and


many more, while in the north George and Andrew Dobbie,
Samuel Livingstone, the Crossett's, Bests, Haleys, the Bor-
bridges, and others had made their homes. Samuel Edison, John
Saxton, John Ault, Asa Teal, Hollywood, Smith, Purdy, Hawkes-
worth these were pioneer names in Vienna, a number of them
still represented there. George Suffell and Thomas Jenkins came
somewhat later.

The six townships just described formed the oldest and best
settled part of the Talbot settlement. Fronting on the lake and
traversed throughout from east to west by Talbot road, they were
the most accessible to the outside world and settlers from London
township and other inland parts for many years, in the early days,
found it necessary to come to the front townships and villages for
their supplies, as well as to sell their products.

Middleton and Houghton to the east were within the Talbot
district (Norfolk) and not that of London, but were also within
the Talbot settlement, Talbot road beginning at the east boundary
of the former township. At the period now referred to they were
very sparsely settled. Middleton had only some 2,000 acres under
cultivation and a population in 1841 of less than 600, while in
Houghton the quantity of land under cultivation was somewhat
less and the population in the year mentioned less than 300.

South Dorchester, the only township within the present county
of Elgin not already referred to, had in the early forties little
more than 1,000 acres cultivated and about 400 people. Most of
these had taken up their land but a few years before, Peter J.
Neff, the Woolleys, Weeden Walker and Mathew Fullerton
among the earlier, joined a few years later by the Sherks, Stokes,
Pritchards, Gunns, Clunas', Charltons and Clines. North
Dorchester had at the same time between four and five thousand
acres under cultivation and more than 1,000 inhabitants, among
whom was Jacob Cline, the father of family above named.

London township at this period was flourishing. By 1842 it
had furnished homes for some 4,000 people, who had brought
under crop about twenty thousand acres. Good farms, flourishing
orchards, distinguished it then, as now, to a far greater extent.
Its fine, rolling lands were inhabited by a large accession of


settlers from Ireland, since the coming of the Tipperary Talbots
referred to in a previous chapter, while other parts of the United
Kingdom were represented there. It was a township of British
immigrants, a list of whose names would disclose so many now
familiar in London and its vicinity and some known throughout
the Province and Dominion as well as to preclude their being
given here.

Westminster, too, was an old settled township, whose early
settlement dated back to the time of Simon Zelotes Watson.
The quantity of cultivated lands and the population approached
those of London township, though the people are described as
then (1842) chiefly Canadians, Americans* and Pennsylvania
Dutch. To these in later years were added a sprinkling of such
sturdy Highlanders as the brothers Duncan and Hugh McPherson
and a good many Irish, especially in the southern part. Hall's
Mills and the Junction or Lambeth were its villages.

The range of townships settled by Colonel Talbot north of the
Thames included, besides London township, Lobo, Caradoc, Ek-
frid, Mosa and Zone. In 1842 to 1845 each had more than 5,000
acres cultivated with a population averaging about 1,200 in each.
In Zone was the site of the old Moraviantown and the battle
ground where Tecumseh was killed, when the village was also
destroyed and, after the war, re-built on the opposite side of the
river in Orford. "Zone Mills," "Van Allen's Mills" and
"Smith's Mills" were on Bear Creek. Captain Ward had
founded Wardsville in Mosa. Caradoc contained the Indian
village of the Munceys and the well-known Caradoc Academy of
which Mr. Livingstone was principal, whose vigorous discipline
prominent men looked back upon with mingled feelings in after
days. It was burned, it was said, by the hands of exasperated
pupils of the school after the period now spoken of.

* Among these was John McClary, who settled on lot 2, in the ist
concession, at about 1817, an American of Scotch descent, who came from
Pennsylvania, though born in New Hampshire. His wife was related to the
Adams' family from which the two United States Presidents of that name
came. Their sons, Peter, William, Oliver and John became prominent and
wealthy citizens of London and neighbourhood the latter the head of the
immense manufacturing company bearing the family name.


Delaware, the remaining- township south of the Thames, as yet
unmentioned, with its well-known village of Delaware (already
referred to as laid out for the district capital by Mr. Tiffany) even
in the forties presented the appearance of an English village and
countryside. Its first settlement was prior to the war of 1812, as
already seen. In fact there were a few settlers at various points
along" the Thames, one of the ancient routes from the east to
Detroit, prior to Col. Talbot's commencing his settlement. A
bridge 900 feet in length across the Thames at Delaware was
considered the finest work of the kind in Canada in " the forties."
The Oneida Indians emigrated from the States and bought
land and established themselves in Delaware, near the Munceys of
Caradoc. The settlement of the township, however, was not as
yet extensive, and it contained but four or five hundred whites,
though the village had some 300 inhabitants, with the luxury of a
daily mail and " Bullen's " well-known tavern. The names of
several of its earliest families have appeared in former chapters.
Kilworth was the second village in Delaware, near which, but in
Lobo, the Earl of Mountcashel had a residence.

The townships already referred to comprise those in the London
(Middlesex) and Talbot (Norfolk) districts as well as Zone in the
western district placed in the hands of Colonel Talbot for
settlement. He, however, appears to have taken no part in the
settlement of Delaware, though he had in regard to all the town-
ships surrounding it. Of those north of the river London
township was the only one in which he had exercised anything
like an exclusive jurisdiction as to locations. In the other four
townships of Middlesex Mosa, Ekfrid, Caradoc and Lobo the
northern parts had been granted to non-residents before the plans
were furnished to Colonel Talbot, with the exception of a few
actual settlers in Lobo. The southern parts of the first three of
these townships between the Longwoods road and the Thames
were reserved for sale by the government, so that his duties were
confined chiefly to locating settlers along the Longwoods road, or
" Talbot road, long woods," as he termed it. He located the
northern part of Zone, which was in the Western district, the
southern part being the Moravian Indian reserve.


The northern parts of Dunwich and Aldborough, though the
latter contained some of the very earliest settled land in the
district as already mentioned, had also been deeded in early days
chiefly to non-residents the southern parts, with the exception of
the crown and clergy reserves, being Colonel Talbot's own
property, granted to him under the arrangement originally made
by Lord Hobart.

In the Western district, south of the river Thames, thirteen town-
ships, some of which have been since sub-divided, were returned
by Col. Talbot in 1835 as being within the Talbot settlement.

In Orford and Howard crown, clergy and Indian reserves and
prior deeds to non-residents confined the Colonel's locations to
the Talbot and Middle roads. Yet some Scotch and other settlers
were early located. Among others John Blue, from Argyleshire,
father of Archibald Blue, the Dominion Census Commissioner,
(who was born in Orford in 1840). Nathaniel Mills came from
Nova Scotia to the same township as early as 1817, where his
son, the Hon. David Mills, late Minister of Justice and Supreme
Court Judge, was born in 1831. William Bury, an Irishman who
had emigrated to Pennsylvania, came, in 1808, to Canada and,
about 1815, settled at Clearville, where he built one of the first
grist mills in the settlement. Harwich had been all deeded by
government to non-residents, with the exception of the lands of a
few actual settlers on the Thames. In the remainder of the town-
ships to the Detroit river, with the exception of Anderdon and
Maiden, the Colonel seems to have had large tracts of land under
his charge to locate, in addition to those located along the Talbot
and Middle roads.

By 1845 the population and cultivated lands in these townships
had largely increased, though here and there large tracts of wet
land remained unfit for settlement, as in Gosfield and Colchester,
in the south parts of which townships large quantities of iron ore
were found, which was melted in a furnace and foundry in
operation since 1834 in the former township. As in all the town-
ships of the settlement in early days, there were of course large
quantities of timber, which formed a chief article of export. Yet
by 1845 other valuable products were raised. For instance from


Howard and two adjoining townships there were exported that
year 10,500 bushels of wheat and 169 barrels of pork in addition
to 114,000 pipe staves. In some previous seasons, too, as much
as 100 hogsheads of tobacco had been shipped from Howard
alone. Its cultivation in this and other townships had, however,
been discontinued owing, it was said, to the diminution of the
duty on tobacco from the United States not to be revived until
towards the close of the century. Morpeth or Jamesville in
Howard was a two-taverned village, with the inevitable distillery,
three stores and a number of artizans in '45 ; while Blenheim, in
Harwich, having been then recently laid out by Colonel Little,
contained simply a tavern, though lots were sold at from ^5 to
7 * os.

Chatham at the period just spoken of was a growing town of
importance, though its barracks were now unoccupied. It con-
tained about 1,500 people and property had so increased in value
that, as a gazetteer of that day puts it, "a small town lot, which
at the first settlement could have been worth but a mere trifle,
was sold a short time since to a merchant at the enormous advance
of seven hundred and fifty dollars." The new road from London
to Amherstburg passed through the town and four-horse stages
went eastward and westward daily. Captain Ebert's steamboat
Brothers left thrice a week for Detroit and Amherstburg, connect-
ing with Captain Van Allen's London, the fastest steamer on the
upper lakes. Chatham already possessed four places of worship,
a weekly newspaper, the Gleaner, a theatre which was well
attended, the performers being amateurs, a cricket club, five
physicians and surgeons and a lawyer (by 1850 Robt. S. Woods
subsequently the esteemed, and now retired, Judge came.) It
had a liberal supply of breweries (two) and distilleries (three),
that customary industry in those days, a tannery, and a large
number of tradesmen and artizans, with agencies of the Upper
Canada and Gore Banks, and last, but not least frequented, the
" Royal Exchange," principal tavern and stage house, with its
reading and news room.

Windsor at the same time contained about 300 inhabitants and
had but one brewery, one distillery and one physician and


surgeon, but its barracks were occupied by a battalion of Rifles
and two steam ferry boats were constantly crossing to and from

In 1831 Colonel Talbot, writing of the settlement, said, " My
population amounts to 40,000 souls." In 1851 they numbered
more than 70,000, of whom the town of London contained more
than 5,000 and the newly formed, but old settled, county of Elgin
some 25,000.

If Colonel Talbot's estimate in '31 was not too high, the
increase in the twenty years since was proportionately about the
same as in the three first decades of the settlement. The rebellion
and its aftermath of "Patriot" invasions had had an effect in
checking progress in the settlement proportionately greater
perhaps and of quite as long duration as the war of 1812. The
continued bitterness of party strife in the following decade no
doubt tended to retard the country's progress.

The population it will be seen embraced many nationalities.
The old French settlements, on the western border, kept pretty
well by themselves. The influx, at first, was chiefly of U. E.
Loyalists, of people both British and Dutch, who had lived in the
States but were not satisfied to remain there, and of Americans
born. After the war, came emigrants from the British Isles,
Scotch, Irish, English and Welsh, with fresh accessions from the
Maritime Provinces, from Eastern Canada and the States, a few
from the Red River, with a sifting of various other nationalities.
The earlier settlers had been carefully sifted and distributed by
Colonel Talbot himself. Almost all were well fitted to face the
realities of life in a new country. Early hardships passed, the
dangers and distress of war, foreign and civil, over, political
grievances settled or in process of settlement, self-government
established, a new era was dawning of increased prosperity, not
unmixed with fresh temporary reverses.



THE moral, religious and educational advancement of the settle-
ment must always be of at least as much interest to posterity as
its municipal and material progress. The somewhat unattractive
picture drawn by Dr. Howison of the condition of at least a
portion of the people when he visited the settlement about 1820,
publishing his experiences the following year in England, is
probably not overdrawn, though the book published* by E. A.Talbot
about the same time, in which serious reflections were made upon
the moral condition of the settlers, was considered so unwarranted
in some of its statements that the publisher of the St. Thomas
Liberal, R. Colton, advertised, in 1833, the publication of a bookf
to consist of extracts from and a review of Talbot's work, with
the evident intention of calling down the wrath of the people of
the settlement upon its author, whose work, it was charged, had
been carefully suppressed from them, but widely circulated
throughout Europe.

If the moral condition of the people were not high in the very
early days, it would not have been matter for wonder. However
it may be in occasional individual cases, the standard of a people
without religion and religious observances is ever a low moral
standard. Religion in a community without religious teachers
and observances is in danger of dying out, and we may be sure
the Talbot settlement would have formed no exception to the rule,
had it been left without the ministrations of the gospel. As it

*A Five Years' Residence in Upper Canada, by Edward Allen Talbot Esq.,
of the Talbot settlement, two volumes

\The Beauties of Talbotism, or Libels upon Upper Canada, forty-eight pages,
as. per copy.


was, there was a dearth in this respect, such as is felt in most
new settlements. The widely scattered population, without roads
or means of travel except on foot, tended to make collective
worship almost impossible at first.

Colonel Talbot, it is said, read the service himself to his
assembled settlers for the first few years of the settlement.
Whatever effect it had on himself, this practice, no doubt, served
a good purpose as regards the settlers in the neighbourhood of
Port Talbot. After the coming of the Rev. Mr. Mclntosh to St.
Thomas he and succeeding missionaries of the Church of England
there continued to hold services at Colonel Talbot's and at
neighbouring settlers' homes. Bishop Stewart, of Quebec, in
1827 confirmed 17 persons in the house of Leslie Patterson, and
in the following year St. Peter's church nearby was built upon
land donated by Mrs. Mary Storey, John Pearce senior,
Colonel Leslie Patterson, Stephen Backus senior, and Walter
Storey being the chief promoters and builders. Governor Simcoe's
daughter bequeathed the means of procuring a solid silver
communion service for the church, which was subsequently
consecrated by Bishop Strachan. Around it has grown up a
substantial congregation of earnest, self-denying Christian men
and women, who are regarded as such throughout the large
diocese of which they form a part.*

The pioneer church of the Talbot settlement proper, however,
was that for which Daniel Rapelje provided, in 1821, the site and
burial ground at St. Thomas, the church, built in 1824, having
subsequently for outstations St. Peter's before mentioned and Port
Stanley, where Christ Church was erected through the instrument-
ality of, and on land supplied by Colonel Bostwick, in 1841.
The establishment of the church at St. Thomas was, no doubt,
due to the Hon. and Rev. Charles Stewart, brother of the Earj
of Galloway, who came as far west as Sandwich in 1820, who
administered sacrament in June, 1825, in St. Thomas church, and

*St. John's church, Sandwich, whose first rector was Rev. Richard Pollard
was in existence before the Talbot settlement was begun. An interesting-
centennial address on its early history by Judge Woods, of Chatham, was
published last year, (1903) and a similar one previously on the Moravian
mission by the same gentleman.

Originally erected about 1800.


Prom Illustrated London. (Copyrighted.)

Erected in 1828.


Erected in 18*4.



in 1827 held a confirmation there of forty-four persons, after his
consecration as the second Bishop of Quebec in 1826. He was
a most zealous missionary Bishop, and procured from England the
means for erecting a considerable number of churches in this pro-
vince. Rev. Mr. Mclntosh also held occasional services, as
already mentioned, in the Geary barn in London township, where
St. John's church was erected, though not completed until after
1840. It is a sad commentary on the times that this pioneer
missionary, Mclntosh, fell a victim of intemperance in the end,
though the good seed sown in the early days of his ministry has,
nevertheless, resulted in much good fruit. That he was, in those
days, held in high regard not only for his zeal, but for his scholar-
ship, by the saintly Bishop Stewart, the writer was assured by the
late Crowell Wilson, then a member of his congregation, after-
ward member of parliament for Middlesex and Elgin, and all other
evidence is to the same effect.

The Church of England had churches at both Vienna and Port
Burwell at an early day, the latter built and endowed by Colonel
Burwell, whose fidelity to his church has already been remarked.
Dr. Cronyn's advent in London and the consequent development
of the church there have already been described. Dr. Strachan
found a church in a picturesque situation in the midst of a thin
grove of pines and " a decent country congregation," at Chatham
in 1828. "The horses tied to the branches, and the group of
waggons and carts in different places pointed out the religious
edifice. Preaching in a wilderness," wrote the Archdeacon, " to
a congregation collected from a great extent of country, which,
on a cursory view, seems almost uninhabited, arriving by one,
two or three, from all sides, through paths almost undiscernible,
cannot fail of producing solemn reflection ; and when we see them
thus assembled to worship God through the merits of a crucified
Redeemer, we become sensible of the power of the Gospel.
Several persons of colour composed part of the congregation."
The account by the much-attacked Archdeacon of his journey to
Talbot road is worth quoting in full as illustrative of the difficulties
of a church dignitary travelling by waggon in those days ; as also
of the inmost thoughts and feelings of the man.


"Monday, ist September. About eight o'clock, the weather, which had
been rainy, cleared up, and we set out for Talbot street, to the commence-
ment of which it was only sixteen miles across the country from Chatham.
We had not proceeded far before we found the sloughs frightful. Every
moment we expected to stick fast or break down. A thunder storm came on
and the rain fell in such torrents as greatly to increase the difficulty. After
labouring nine hours we stuck fast about five o'clock, when within half a mile
of Talbot road. At length taking out the horses, we left the waggon, with
the baggage, in order to go to the nearest house for the night, distant nine
miles. By this time it was six o'clock. The horses, almost killed with
straining and pulling, could hardly walk. Another storm of thunder and
lightning came on, and the narrow path, overhung with branches, became
suddenly dark. The rain fell in vast quantities, and at length we could see
no path, but were striking against the trees and each other. We continued
to wander till nine o'clock, when we were forced to halt, completely
drenched with the continued rain.

Unfortunately we had no means ot lighting a fire, notwithstanding the cold
and wet, and, expecting to get to a house, we had nothing to eat or drink.
There was no remedy but to sit quietly under the trees till morning.
Although there was something gloomy, and from the high wind which arose
in the morning, dangerous, in being in the midst of a vast forest without
light or shelter, there was likewise something pleasing, or at least soothing,
to the soul. I was led naturally to serious thoughts, and the Gospel
promises arose before me in unextinguishable light. There was something
different in the conceptions which I formed of heaven and eternity than when
in the midst of society. The truths appeared, if I may so express myself,
more palpable. There was darkness without and light within. Till I fell into
a serious train of thought, the time seemed very long ; but after I became
absorbed in meditation, time flew rapidly and the cold was forgotten ! At
4 a. m., convinced that we had passed the house, we retraced our steps, and
found it about a mile from our dreary encampment. We had passed it in the
dark ; but there being no window towards the road, and the family having no
dog, a thing very unusual in this country, we plunged on from one slough into
another, without knowing that we were near a human habitation.

" We despatched the farmer with his oxen for our waggon, and proceeded
a mile farther to breakfast. Notwithstanding the coldness of the night and
the wet state of our clothes, we took no harm, which was a singular blessing,
as more sickness prevailed at this time in the Province than ever before.

" Tuesday, 2nd September. After breakfast we set out for Storer's Inn, the
place at which I had promised to preach. A great concourse had assembled on
the previous evening, but hearing that I was to pass across in a waggon, they
were convinced that I had found difficulty in the attempt and were not
surprised at my not appearing. We advertised, as far as we could, that there
would be public worship this evening ; and notwithstanding the shortness of


the notice, I had a very good congregation The people

expressed a strong desire to have a minister settled among them. Occasional
visits might be made by Mr. Morley ; for although the road may be
considered impracticable for waggons, it is passable for horses."

This bit of road, as we have seen in a previous chapter, when
Mrs. Jameson passed over it some nine years afterwards, was not
much, if at all, improved. Most missionaries, however, at this
period had perforce to go long distances on horseback, their
saddlebag's constituting" their only " baggage."

The Church of England was not, however, an aggressively
missionary church at this period. Waiting in vain for the settle-
ment of the clergy reserve question in her favour was not
conducive to missionary effort. Her churches and congregations
were mostly confined to the larger centres and localities where
her own people were numerous and to places where some zealous
churchman gave the land to build or endow a church. Her
clergy in the Talbot, London and Western districts in the early
" forties," including three travelling missionaries in the London
district, numbered some nineteen, and by 1850 were about the
same in number, with the same churches and parishes. As they
are not numerous it will be of interest to note here who and where
they were. About 1842 in the Talbot district there were but
two, the Revs. Francis Evans and George Salmon at Simcoe ; in
the London district Revs. Benjamin Cronyn, London ; C. C.
Brough, A. B., London township; Mark Burnham, B. A., St.
Thomas; Arthur Mortimer, Adelaide; Richard Flood, A. M.,
Caradoc ; T. Bolton Read, Port Burwell, with three travelling
missionaries, Geo. Petrie, James Stewart and John Hickie. In
the Western district, Revs. Wm. Ritchie, Sandwich ; Frederick
Mack, Amherstburg ; F. Gore Elliott, Colchester ; W. H. Hobson,
Chatham ; Alex. Pyne, A. B., Moore ; Andrew Jamieson, Wai-
pole Island ; John Gunne, Dawn, and F. Wm. Sandys. To these
by 1851 were added Revs. R. C. Boyer, B. A., Mersea ; Charles
Brown, Malahide ; John Flood, Richmond ; Henry Holland,
Tyrconnel ; James Mockridge, Warwick ; Geo. Chas. Street, Port
Stanley, while the travelling missionaries were now Rev. Arch.
Lampman father of the poet for the London and E. R. Stimson


for the Talbot district. Rev. St. George Caulfield was at this
time in Burford, but succeeded Mr. Burnham as rector of St.
Thomas in 1852.

Among the foregoing some names became familiar as house-
hold words in the settlement as years went on while they spent
a lifetime labouring in the same localities. The devoted Bishop
Stewart of Quebec had ridden along Talbot road and visited the
widely separated stations. Dr. Strachan, both as Archdeacon
and Bishop of Toronto, had also visited the settlement. Ere
many years a new diocese in the west was to be set apart with a
bishop of its own.

As the Roman Catholic missionaries were the first Christians on
the ground in the days of the Neutral Indians and had established a
mission among the Hurons of the Detroit River as early as 1728,
it is hardly necessary to say that missions of the same church
were established in early days among the white population. Out
of the Jesuit mission begun by Father Armand de la Richardie at
the date just mentioned, which in 1835 is said to have numbered
six hundred Christian Indians, was developed the parish
L'Assumption, after the settlers sent from France in 1749, I 75 I
and 1754 had colonized both sides of the river. In 1761 the old
Jesuit mission came under the charge of the Bishop of Quebec
and was merged into the Parish of the Assumption. Commencing
with the baptism of a Campeau in 1761 the records of this parish
are unbroken to the present time. The missions of St. Peter's
on the Thames and St. John's, Amherstburg sprang from that of
JL' Assumption.

Colonel Talbot, in 1827, informed the Right Rev. Alexander
Macdonell, Bishop of Kingston, that he had within his settlement
settlers of his church, and invited the Bishop to visit them. The
Bishop accepted, and was entertained by the Colonel at Port
Talbot, the spot where his illustrious kinsman, the Attorney-
General and aide-de-camp to Brock, had stopped on his way to
Detroit in 1812, and from which he had written the letter quoted
in a former chapter. Bishop Macdonell was thus the first
clergyman of his church to officiate in St. Thomas. As a result of
this visit the Rev. James W. Campion, then stationed at Dundas,


was directed to visit St. Thomas and London once a year. Rev.
John Cullen, who succeeded him, increased these visitations to
four times a year.

Archibald McNeal, who had, in 1816, obtained lot three in
the eighth concession of Yarmouth, on account, it is said, of his
previous service in the navy, was a Roman Catholic. From
McNeal, who was not to be outdone by his neighbour, Daniel
Rapelje, who had conveyed the site for the English church to
Bishop Mountain, of Quebec, in 1821, Father Cullen obtained, on
3ist May, 1831, a deed to Bishop Macdonell and himself of three
acres of land for five shillings. On this lot, now in the heart of
the City of St. Thomas, soon after was built the original wooden
church, which is now about to be replaced for the second time by
a handsome edifice. McNeal had deeded the south half of his two
hundred acre farm to his son, Hugh, who parted with it before
many years, since which time it has been connected by Wilson's
bridge with the north and brought into the present city. The
north part McNeal deeded to his daughter, the wife of John
Davis, an Orangeman, and it was subsequently laid out in town
lots, as already mentioned in a former chapter, by Messrs. White
and Mitchell.

Father Downie, who succeeded Father Cullen in 1831, and
Father Burke (1836) attended the missions until 1838. Rev'ds
Mills, O'Flynn, and O'Dwyer had charge of St. Thomas and
London until 1850, when Rev. T. D. Ryan was appointed to St.
Thomas parish, which was thenceforth separated from London.
Father Ryan continued in St. Thomas for seven years, built the
time-honoured brick house which is still doing duty as a priest's
residence, and opened a mission church at Port Stanley.

The earlier of the above named priests had immense distances
to traverse and many scattered stations to visit. Father Downie,
for instance, had charge of the faithful in St. Thomas, London,
Adelaide, Goderich, and intervening stations and country. Father
O'Flynn had a farm a mile or two south of St. Thomas, where his
relatives, the Butler's, lived, and on which he introduced into the
province the anomaly of a "Welsh mortgage" for the edification
of the lawyers of a future generation.


Mention has already been made of the building of the first
Roman Catholic church in London in 1834. From that time the
congregation continued to grow until, in 1851, Bishop de
Chan^onel confirmed one hundred and thirty persons in the
Forest City. Fathers Carroll and Crinnon, in addition to the
priests already named, fostered the growth of their church in
London, and paved the way for the establishment of a bishopric
there, while missions and parishes were being established in
various parts of the settlement.

Though there were many Presbyterians among the settlers who
had made their homes in the settlement in the early days,
especially in the townships of Aldboro' and Dunwich, they were
without the full ministrations of their church until sbout 1830.
Young couples desirous of marrying trudged on foot through the
forest to Port Talbot to be married by Colonel Talbot, in his
capacity of magistrate, and then home again, over what would
have been many a weary mile of wilderness, were the occasion a
less joyful one, their friends frequently accompanying them on
their wedding journey. A church building was erected in the
early days near New Glasgow, in Aldboro', and here the Rev. Mr.
Ross preached the gospel to many willing hearers seated on its
rude benches the first elders being Angus McKay, James
McKinlay, John McDougall, D. McNaughton, George Henry, and
D. Patterson. Not until 1830 did Mr. Ross and Rev. Donald
Mackenzie qualify under the then recent provincial statute to
perform marriages for their people, a function theretofore
exercised only by the magistrates, unless a clergyman of the
Church of England happened to reside within eighteen miles of
the contracting couple.

From 1833 Presbyterianism showed signs of expansion in the
settlement, and from that year on the records show that the
Rev'ds William Proudfoot, James Skinner, and William Fraser,
in addition to the two ministers of the Church of Scotland already
named, performed a considerable number of marriage ceremonies.
Of other early ministers in the settlement, may be named Rev'ds
John Scott, W. McKellican (1833), Daniel Allen, Duncan
McMillan, and Dugald McKellar, whose ministrations all began


previous to 1840, and William R. Sutherland and Lachlin
McPherson somewhat later. Mr. McKellican was the first
resident Presbyterian minister of St. Thomas. It is narrated that
when the rebellion of '37 began the government sent word to one
of the St. Thomas magistrates that it was reported that the Scotch
in the north of Yarmouth were disaffected and might join the rebels.
The reply sent back was "The Scotch are all right ; all they
require is a minister," and Mr. McKellican forthwith came. In
1838 Alexander Love built for the congregation the plain,
unpainted wooden edifice at the head of New Street, in which they
worshipped for so many years. A small place of worship was also
erected in North Yarmouth. Rev. Mr. McKinnon succeeded Mr.
McKellican and about 1849 or '5 ^e Rev. John Eraser began to
occupy the pulpit of Knox church on the Sabbaths and was sole
master of the grammar school on Stanley street during the week.
London possessed two Presbyterian churches in the early
forties, Chatham a Presbyterian and a "secession" place of
worship. An enumeration of the places of worship in London at
this period will serve to indicate not only the increase in religious
services, but the diversity of faith and doctrine among the
religious bodies of those days. There were Episcopal, two
Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, British Wesleyan, Canadian
Wesleyan, Episcopal Methodist, Congregational, Baptist (for
coloured people), and Universalist churches credited to the town by
the Gazetteer of 1846. These bodies, with the exception of the last
named, were now represented in many outlying parts of the
settlement. The English, the Presbyterian, and the Roman
Catholic churches were the only religious bodies which received
assistance, prior to 1840, from the clergy reserves of the crown.
The other bodies had to rely upon their own Christian zeal and
the assistance of the settlers to carry on their missionary work.
Handicapped as they thus were, it must be acknowledged that
Methodist, Baptist and Congregationalist soldiers of the cross did
a wide-spread work and penetrated into regions and habitations
where, but for them, the preaching of the gospel would have been
unheard for many a year. The three recognized churches
provided ministrations chiefly at such places as their regularly


ordained and educated ministry could reach, and the scant number
of clergy prevented their doing" much more than providing" services
in localities where settlers of their own communion were
sufficiently numerous to form congregations.

The Methodist circuit riders, on the other hand, penetrated
every part of the settlement. They waited not till congregations
were ready to hand, but held meetings in the settlers' log houses
where, if the discourses were couched in less learned language,
the voices raised in praise were as lusty, and the prayers no
doubt as fervid and heartfelt as in town or village church. They
went in and possessed the land and local preachers and class
leaders, with an occasional revival or camp-meeting, enabled them
to hold it. They feared neither the sons of Anak nor even
Colonel Talbot, who thought the Sunday psalm singing did not
always correspond with the week-day practices of the singers.
Emotional religion suited a large proportion of the country folk
and the times, and Methodism spread until in time every town,
village and hamlet had its Methodist meeting house. It obtained
a hold upon the people which it has ever since been able to
maintain, until now it has become the leading Protestant church
in point of numbers, not only throughout the Talbot settlement,
but throughout the Province and the Dominion as a whole.

The Methodists, however, were not then the united church they
now are. The British Wesleyan, American or Canadian Wes-
leyan, New Connexion, Methodist Episcopal and Bible Christian
bodies have since become welded into one great body, the
Methodist church of to-day.

Methodism took root in Westminster township at a very early
date. In 1816 the establishment of the Westminster circuit of
the Wesleyan church is recorded, with John Hamilton as a
minister, and in 1817 David Youmans and Caleb Swazey, 1818
Daniel Shepherdson, 1819 Alvin Tovey, 1820 Isaac B. Smith and
S. Belton, 1821 James Jackson, George Ferguson and Wm.
Ryerson. The last named was one of the six sons of the veteran
U. E. loyalist, Colonel Joseph Ryerson himself an English
churchman of Long Point settlement. Five of the six sons
became ministers, namely, George, William, John, Egerton


afterwards chief superintendent of education and Edwy M.
Assuredly no one family did more for the spread of Methodism
throughout the Talbot settlement, or indeed the province. Space
will not permit an enumeration of all the succeeding' ministers of
this pioneer Wesleyan circuit of Westminster, though some of the
names would be recognized as subsequently of provincial celebrity.
In 1835 Westminster was attached to St. Thomas, with Van-
dusen and Williston as ministers. A brief reference to the early
history of the Wesleyans in St. Thomas will illustrate their
struggles in obtaining a foothold in some of the chief centres and
their subsequent successes. In March, 1834, William Drake
deeded to H. E. Collins, Thomas Allen, Enos Call, James Nevills
and Garrett Smith as trustees for a " Canadian Wesleyan
Methodist Chapel " a lot on the east side of Stanley street,
reserving a right to other Christian denominations to use it for
religious purposes. The consideration expressed was $o and
the property was to be the "joint stock property of all who may
think to assist in raising funds." Up to this time the Methodists
as well as the Roman Catholic missionaries had held their
services in the seminary or school on the west side of Stanley
street, south of Walnut street. Now they set to work to erect a
place of worship more suitable than the school room and James
Dodd soon reared the chapel on the newly acquired lot. In 1836
St. Thomas was detached from Westminster and made a circuit
centre, with Conrad Vandusen and John K. Williston still in
charge. The chapel was made use of by Congregationalists and
other denominations, and, after the burning of the barracks,
served, as has been already related, as the soldiers' quarters
until the withdrawal of the garrison in 1842 or '3. By 1838-9 the
Wesleyans apparently desired a meeting place of their very own
and began to raise the necessary funds. A lot on the Curtis farm
was bargained for and a chapel finally erected on the site of the pres-
ent First Methodist church, which was opened on loth January,
1841, by the Revs. Wm. Ryerson, Thomas Berett and Samuel
Rose, upon which rested, after the opening collections were made,
a debt of ^239 is. 3d. This would seem to have been wiped out
ere long, for in April '42 the deed of the lot was made for the


expressed consideration of ^37 IDS. by Jas. T. Curtis to the
trustees, James Coyne, Samuel Ferrin, John Edmondson, John
Sutton, Jr., of Southwold, Philo Wood, John Sutton of West-
minster and Israel Thayer of Malahide, in presence of William
Coyne as a witness. With James Coyne leading the singing, the
congregation struggled bravely on, building a parsonage and
otherwise improving their position, until 1848 when a rift in the
harmony of the old St. Thomas Episcopal church choir lead to
discord and final disruption in the choir loft, which spread to the
pews as well, and the trouble was not stayed until, despite the
efforts of Parson Burnham and his churchwardens, some 90 of
the congregation had joined the Wesleyans. Thenceforth the
latter flourished apace. The Staceys and others of the new-
comers added their voices and instruments to the choir and
harmony and progress prevailed. Meanwhile the abandoned
church-barrack lacked a congregation and the heirs of the original
land owner, Wm. Drake, apparently without the formality of a
foreclosure or other resumption of title, deeded the pioneer chapel
lot to James Nevills, James Dodds, Wm. Crawdon, W T m. Webb
and Wm. H. Lock as trustees for the St. Thomas circuit of the
New Connexion Canadian Wesleyans for the expressed purpose of
" building a chapel thereon." Though the chapel was already
built the new tenants seem not to have flourished. The building-
fell into disuetude, one minister (a son of Ogle R. Gowan, the
noted Orangeman,) and family are reported to have even reached
almost the point of starvation, and the building itself, after having-
sheltered various congregations, both white and black, fell a prey
to the flames in the 50*5.

London possessed a comfortable Methodist church in the 30*5
and by '46 one each for both British and Canadian branches of the
Wesleyans and the Methodist Episcopal body as well, while the
settlement was almost everywhere provided with Methodist
places of worship.

The pioneer Congregationalist of the settlement and of the
province it is said was the Rev. Joseph Silcox, who had settled
in Southwold in 1817, giving the name of the place near which he
was born in Somersetshire, England (Frome), to the locality where


he settled. He was a rugged Christian of the Calvinist type with
an iron frame, who made the forest resound with both his axe
and his exhortations. In 1819 the Congregational church at
Frome was formed, of which he took the pastoral oversight. The
fifty-two members of his congregation were scattered throughout
Dunwich, Southwold and Westminster and in these townships, as
well as in Oxford, at "the Forks," before London was known,
and on "the plains" near Union, he is said to have preached,
covering the wide stretches of country on his horse. He returned
to England for his wife and family in 1821, remaining there for
seven years to arrange business affairs, after which he returned to
resume his labours in the settlement. Not till after the rebellion
was the church building erected on the front of Mr. Silcox's farm,
the site for which he gave. He gave in time a goodly congrega-
tion, too, for it is stated that a few years since, of a congregation
of 400 gathered to hear his grandson, Rev. J. B. Silcox of
Winnipeg (now of Lansing, Michigan,) preach at the neigh-
bouring village of Shedden, nearly one-fourth were descendants of
Joseph Silcox, who died in 1873 at the age of 84. Two of his
grandsons are eminent Congregationalist ministers of the present
day, the one just named and his brother, Rev. Edwin Silcox, of
Toronto. Of other Congregationalist ministers may be named
W. P. Wastell, Southwold, 1843 ; Edward Ebbs, London, 1846 ;
John Durrant, London, 1847 ; W. H. Allworth, Port Stanley,
1848, and W. F. Clarke, London, 1849.

Among the earliest Baptist settlers were a numerous party from
South Wales, who settled in 1821 in the north part of London
township, who, with others of the same faith in Lobo, formed a
Baptist church in the latter township in 1829, incited thereto by
the preaching of Elder McDermond. A few years later a church
was erected in the Welsh settlement at Denfield in London town-
ship. A decade later there were Baptist places of worship not
only in London, St. Thomas, Blenheim and other towns and
villages, but in Bayham, Malahide, Yarmouth, Aldborough,
Southwold, Westminster, Dorchester and other townships, and
the names of Elders Pickle, Merrill, Vining, Harris, Laridon,
Baker, Sloot, Sinclair, Mills, Crandall, Wilkinson, Wilson, East-


wood, Williams, Bray, Hopkins, Marsh, Boyd, Rouse and Chute
were known throughout these townships, while those of Richard
Andrews of Yarmouth, Shook McConnell in Malahide, D. W.
Rowland in St. Thomas were as household words in those

In 1831 the Baptists shared in the privilege accorded them in
common with other dissenting bodies of qualifying to perform
marriage services. To journey to the magistrate's court and take
the necessary oath of allegiance, though an onerous condition,
was not the only difficulty encountered in the early days. The
experience of Elder Dugald Campbell of Aldborough in joining a
couple from the north of the Thames may be instanced to show
that the want of license to marry was not always the only barrier.
Arrived at the river the elder stood on one side of the stream, the
young couple on the other, the boat used as a ferry gone. The
river was deep at this point and apparently the would-be bride
and groom were as far from a consummation of their bliss as
ever. The elder was not to be thus balked, however. He
shouted to the couple to join hands on the river bank, went
through the ceremony in the same tones, tied the marriage lines
to a stone and hurled it across the broad waters, and went his way
and the happy couple theirs.

The Baptists, consistent opponents of anything like a state
aided church, have worked perseveringly and flourished through-
out the settlement.

The Moravians of the Thames, like the Quakers of South
Yarmouth, though in the Talbot settlement, were not of it. The
latter were largely settled on lands which were granted to the
Baby family before Colonel Talbot's settlement commenced, whose
beauties have been referred to in previous pages. The formers'
occupation of their lands upon the Thames began in 1792, when
Zeisberger, Senseman, Edwards, Michael Jung and others, with
their band of Christian Delaware Indians, driven for many years
from place to place on the other side of the border, crossed over
and built their little town of Fairfield, which, being burned by
Harrison's army after the battle of the Thames, was subsequently
re-built on the opposite side of the river in Orford, and has been


since known by the name of Moraviantown. The semi-centennial
of this peaceful, happy settlement was celebrated in a becoming
manner in 1842. Their mission is the oldest in the Talbot
settlement, as their church also is the oldest Protestant church,
preceding by many years Luther's Reformation. Their reserve is
some six miles square.

A perusal of the foregoing brief and imperfect account of the
various denominations of Christians in the settlement, and their
early struggles, may, to some, suggest doubts as to the good
accomplished in a young and scattered population by so many
divided and sub-divided bodies working rather in rivalry than
harmony in their common Master's service. Yet the eye of faith
may discern a divine purpose in it all. Each body doubtless
appealed to those of the mixed population of many nationalities
whom it best could influence for good. Their very rivalries
tended to increase their zeal, and remote settlements and isolated
settlers were reached who would otherwise have been left without
religious guidance. It was a period of division but not of doubt.
The next half century, with a more homogeneous population, was
to witness the drawing together and consolidation of a good
many of these rival bodies, strengthened by union to face new
foes. With the evangelization of the world completed according
to divine command, may it not be hoped that all division may
disappear and a united church be prepared to greet her Lord ?

Meantime let those who doubt the good accomplished by the
various churches in the first half century, ask themselves what
would have been the moral, not to say religious, condition of the
settlement without them.



THAT education was attained by children of the early settlers
under difficulties was a necessary consequence of their isolated
position. Many a worthy citizen of the first half century
struggled with the rudiments by the light of the log fire, a pine
knot, or, at best, a tallow dip, in a pioneer home in the winter
evenings some without other assistance than that of their hard
worked parents, if, happily, these had any education to impart to
their offspring. Where a school was within reach at all it was
usually kept open for but six months of the year, while many
pupils who could be of use in clearing the land had the advantage
of only the half of this term at school.

At first the home of some settler afforded necessary accommo-
dation for the class until a log or other rough schoolhouse could
be built by the settlers. The first of the log schoolhouses was,
probably, that^>uilt by the settlers upon an acre of land given for
the purpose by James Watson, at Watson's Corners, in 1816.
Most of the logs were cut upon the spot to form the building of
twenty by eighteen feet dimensions. The first teacher was
William Hannah, and the first trustees John Barber, James
Watson, and Colonel Burwell. This schoolhouse was, about
1820, destroyed by fire caused, it was supposed, by the "back
log " from the open fire place rolling out on the floor after school
hours. An interval of teaching by Ewen Cameron in the settlers'
homes succeeded, before a frame school house took the place of
this pioneer school. Among other early teachers at this school
was Crowell Wilson, afterward the well-known member of
parliament for Middlesex and Elgin, whose home was then just
east of St. Thomas.


On the other side of the townline, in Dunwich, the first school
in the pioneer settlement, "little Ireland," was held in 1822 in the
house of Mr. John Pearce, Mr. Thomas Gardiner being the
teacher and six months being the term. This was succeeded by
a similar school at the house of John Miles Farlane in 1824, in
which year a schoolhouse was erected on Mr. Backus' farm, of
which three teachers of the name of Ladd, their several Christian
names being Alvro, Lemuel and Phural, were among the masters
at different times.

The interior furnishings of most of the pioneer schoolhouses
were similar a large open fireplace for which a stove was
substituted in later buildings a long slab or board desk along
two and sometimes three of the walls, slab benches pierced with
auger holes in which the supports were inserted. A small desk and
chair for the teacher completed the furniture. Quill pens and ink
from the bark of maple and copperas, with some whiskey as a
preventative against freezing, were used. Economy in window
glass was the rule. Three, or at most four, windows formed the
light allowance. The walls were unplastered, and sometimes the
ground was the only floor.

The teachers were boarded and lodged by the patrons of the
school in turn and obtained, usually, from them a small per capita
allowance in cash for the pupils taught from their families, who
supplied also each a proportion of the wood consumed. In some
schoolhouses where a married teacher presided, he and his wife
lived in the school, the pupils enjoying free instruction in certain
branches of domestic science while pursuing their other studies.
This was, for instance, at one time the case in the school near
Coyne's Corners (S. S. No. 3, Dunwich,) and in this school house
the soldiers on the march to the western frontier were able to
cook a comfortable meal in 1838.

The school houses were frequently used for religious services
by the several denominations and for various meetings of a social,
literary and political character.

District grammar schools were established by law at a very
early day in 1807. That for the London district was placed in
charge of James Mitchell, who had been educated at Edinburgh



University and had come to the country as tutor to the family of
Colonel Hamilton. He taught the school on his farm in
Charlotteville until in 1819, when the capital was established at
Vittoria, and Mr. Mitchell became the district Judge, while the
school was removed to the same place, and Egerton Ryerson,
one of his former pupils afterwards chief superintendent of
education for the province succeeded the Judge as school

After the survey and establishment of the district capital at
London, one VanEvery opened the first school in the new town in
the temporary gaol and court house building first erected there.
This was in 1828. On this building being removed to the south
side of the court house square to make way for the new court
house, it was occupied in the upper part by the district school,
which was removed from Vittoria to the new district capital.
The names of Francis Wright, T. C. D., its first master, James
C. Thompson and the Rev. Benjamin Bayley are associated with
this school. The latter continued in charge of it and its
successors for thirty-seven years. The names of some of the
pupils who attended this old pioneer grammar school, some of
whom sat at an early age upon the judicial bench of the former
court room, then occupied by the more advanced scholars, have
been given in a previous chapter.

The late Sheriff Glass wrote of the early private schools of
London about this period, as remembered by himself :

" The first school was opened in 1833, on Dundas and Richmond, by one
Taylor, an asthmatic, consumptive person, who could scarcely master ' the
three R's.' He was assisted by his wife, a tough, wiry little woman, with
less education, but greater energy. They combined lath-making with their
educational duties ; the male teacher cleaving the large bolts of oak and
cedar until quite exhausted, when his wife would take up the work, and, with
drawing-knife in hand and astride the draw horse, she would thin down the
thick ends and prepare the lath for market. Then followed in rapid succes-
sion the opening and closing of other schools. Miss Stimson, Mr. Busbee,
Miss Dyer (a resident in 1877), John Talbot and Rev. Mr. Wright, all taught
private schools between 1833 and 1836. Most of these teachers were but
poorly educated. They were strong believers in the doctrine ' to spare the
rod is to spoil the child ' and enforced most lessons with a liberal application
of blue beech gads, which were then found in a swamp at or near the corner


of Richmond and King- streets. The total number of children at this time of
suitable age for school did not exceed ten or twelve. The schools were
opened by the persons named as a private enterprise, without government or
municipal aid. The usual charge was from $1.25 to $1.50 per quarter. It
will be readily seen that the probable return was not such as to command the
best talent, and this will also account for the rise and fall of so many schools
in so short a time. Mr. Taylor (father of William Taylor, who died in
1876-7), who taught for many years subsequently in London township, opened
a school on Horton street in 1838. He was far in advance of the others
educationally and taught for many years afterwards in the same place.' "

V As early as 1825 a school house had been erected in St.
Thomas. A few individuals, chiefly farmers, had guaranteed the
payment of ^"100 a year for three years for the maintenance of a
school therein, and in the year mentioned the school was reported
to be " in operation under the superintendence of a young gentle-
man from the lower province, sent by the Rev. Dr. Stewart"
presumably the Rev. Alexander Mclntosh. His name and that of
a Mr. Randall have been since associated with this early seat of
learning in St. Thomas which came to be known as the Talbot
Seminary, while the school house grew to be a two-storied one.
Other teachers in the seminary in the " twenties " were James
Lee, " Dandy " Smith so called from his tendency to foppishness
in those days of homespun and John Alexander. Holton
Bennett, who subsequently became the leading hotel proprietor of
London, and Mr. and Mrs. Crane were also among the early
teachers of St. Thomas. Richard Andrews, who had been a
school teacher in Holdsworth, Devonshire, England, and is
described as having been master of seven languages, arrived with
the Gilbert- Westlake-Penhale party from that place in 1831. He
at once took up teaching. Among his pupils of the early thirties
may be mentioned James W. Drake, afterwards for many years a
school master of the village ; Daniel Drake, the first white child
born in the neighbourhood, and Thomas Arkell, a newly arrived
English boy the two latter becoming mayors of St. Thomas and
the last named a member of parliament in later years.

On 4th May, 1832, the strip of land on the west side of Stanley
more correctly Port Stanley street, on the east border of the
lot originally laid out as the gaol and court house block, was


deeded by Colonel Mahlon Burwell to King William IV. " for the
uses and purposes of the Talbot Seminary and no other." In the
two-storied building placed upon this lot a somewhat more
advanced education was imparted than in the ordinary country
schools, and here the Roman Catholic missionaries said mass and
baptised children and the Methodists held services before their
respective places of worship were ready for occupation.

It must not be imagined, however, that anything so pretentious
as a two-storied school building was erected all at once for the
seminary, or even within a year or two. The upper story, when
reared, remained unfinished for many a day, its sides unsheeted
and the interior exposed to the weather. Here free tuition in
physical culture was afforded the youths of the village occasionally,
when some soldier of the garrison had a score to settle with a
civilian. The upper story of the seminary afforded a convenient
place for settling these disputes, out of school hours, and beyond
the reach of officers' eyes. Big Levi Simpson, who worked a
spike threshing machine, after harvest, was a " thresher " in
more ways than one, and he and Isaac Buchanan of North
Yarmouth, a powerful Scotchman, were usually ready to accom-
modate the red-coats on short notice, by meeting them at the
above rendezvous for a sparring match without gloves. Those
not privileged to mount the stair to this improvised gymnasium
of the Talbot Seminary, by standing at some distance from the
building, could mark how the tide of battle was turning, as seen
through the open studding.

A modest frame one-storey building was erected in rear of the
older seminary for a grammar school, wherein the well known
Scotch dominie and rigid Presbyterian, John Walker, first taught,
succeeded by James C. Thompson, formerly of the London
grammar school, and the Rev. John Fraser, who was also the
minister of the old Knox church.

The name of Mr. Thompson recalls a play-ground tragedy of
those days. Ed. and Arthur Sydere were step-sons of his. The
former, in a scuffle on the green in front of the seminary, received
a kick in the abdomen from a lad named Green, which resulted in
young Sydere's death. The affair created a great stir, but young


Green was not held responsible for the unhappy event.

Vienna, about 1850, added a grammar school to the primary
school it had possessed since 1828.

The Caradoc Academy, opened by William Livingstone in 1833,
was the chief residential school of the London district for about a
quarter of a century from that date. It was situate on the
Chatham road some five miles from Delaware, and boasted a con-
siderable staff of teachers, while the Rev. R. Flood preached to
the faculty and students once a fortnight. Here the scions of
such families as the Givens, Broughs, Eccles, Labatts, Blakes,
Burwells, Wards of Mosa, Seabrooks of Caradoc, and
Bullens of Delaware, with many others from various parts of the
settlement, and even more distant parts of the province, received
their early training. The Academy was destroyed by fire in '57
its destruction being attributed to some revengeful students, smart-
ing under the severity of the discipline to which they were
subjected there.

Mrs. Jameson, when passing through the settlement in 1837,
remarked upon the incompetency of the teachers in some of the
more remote parts of the settlement. The character and attain-
ments of those of a decade or more before that time can only be
surmised, or gathered, from the traditions and documentary
fragments still preserved, from the remote past before the
newspaper era. The peripatetic dominies of the days of the
earliest log schoolhouses were of various classes and nationalities
Scotch, Irish, and Americans for the most part. Some were,
no doubt, worthy men, some were mighty with the rod, while
some indulged freely in the prevailing and inexpensive beverage of
the day whiskey. Of the latter class was probably the writer of
the following receipt given to his trustee, by whose family it has
been carefully preserved as a sample of the manners of the day

" Received of David Caughell one pound ten shillings, by the hands ot
Charles Conrad, in full of accounts, debts, dues, demands, controversies,
quarrels, broils, bickerings, hearsays, whosays, and all other kinds of old
wives' says, from the beginning of the world until this very day, March, 1827.
St. Patrick's day in the morning, 1827, i 10. JOHN LESLIE.

A copy of an agreement made at a later date, engaging a


teacher for the same locality in Yarmouth in which Mr. Leslie
taught, in which is shown the prevalent rate of remuneration and
modes of apportionment thereof, with other interesting- particulars,
is still preserved by the Caughell family.

Over the somewhat improved common schools of the district of
London, in the forties, John Wilson afterward Hon. Justice
Wilson and William Elliott afterward County Judge of Middle-
sex were successively placed in charge, as district superintendents,
and doubtless to their zeal and energy was attributable a good
deal of the improvement in the schools during that decade.

In 1850 a Board of Public Instruction for Middlesex was formed,
of which Messrs. French, Bishop Cronyn, John Wilson of London,
Silcox of Southwold, and Edmund Sheppard were members.

Ladies' private schools were more in vogue in those early days
than at present Some of those in London have been already
referred to. In St. Thomas the Misses Bostwick were among the
earliest teachers. Miss Campbell, the daughter of a retired British
officer, who had herself been educated in France, a high authority
on deportment and good manners, kept a ladies' school at the top of
the hill on Talbot street, assisted by Miss Low, an English young
lady. Those were the days when to curtesy gracefully, work a
sampler or fancy muslin frill, were counted of more importance
than proficiency in the various "oligies." Miss Edmunds was
another of the early lady teachers of the town the successor of
the Misses Campbell and Low.

In the Western district the grammar school had been established
at Sandwich, and the Church of England clergymen had charge
of it.

The foregoing imperfect sketch of the various classes of schools
and teachers in the settlement may serve to show upon what sort
of foundation Egerton Ryerson was to rear his elaborate school
system throughout the province, in the years to come. Many of
the old log school houses survived until late in the century.



THE band of the 34th was no longer heard in St. Thomas and
Colonel Airey was once more in England. He had not, however,
parted finally with his uncle nor visited Port Talbot for the last
time. He was married and the father of a family, and could
appreciate better than his brother Julius the importance of
conciliating his uncle and conforming to his wishes. Colonel
Talbot's estate was now increasing annually in value, and his
heir, whosoever he might be, would be a man of wealth. In
consequence therefore of a correspondence between them, Colonel
Airey conditionally relinquished his post at the Horse Guards, to
bring his family to Canada, in the autumn of 1847.

Meantime Colonel Talbot was living in the old bachelor quarters
he had inhabited so long, and continued to entertain his friends
there, after his own fashion, with generous hospitality. In June,
1847, in a letter to Judge Salmon, the son of his old friend,
Major Salmon of Norfolk, he wrote :

" I have had Mrs. Harris and three of her daughters with two of the
officers of the 82nd regiment at Port Talbot for the last week, and I think
that they intend remaining- another week. It will give me sincere pleasure to
receive a visit from your brother George whenever it may be convenient to
him to come. The Aireys are not to leave England before September. lam
more than disappointed that Mrs. Salmon and yourself could not pay me a
visit this summer. Pray remember me most kindly to your mother and I am
rejoiced to hear so good an account of her health. Believe me, my dear
William, ever yours faithfully, Thomas Talbot."

The Mrs. Harris referred to was, of course, the wife of John


Harris, of London, and daughter of Colonel Samuel Ryerse. Of
their seven daughters the larger number married officers of the
different regiments. The preliminary courtships of two of them
were now doubtless taking place under the chaperonage of their
mother and the now venerable Colonel, their host.

The reader of previous chapters will recall the Colonel's
announcement of an intended visit in 1815 of himself accompanied
by Sir James Yeo and the latter's first lieutenant, Mr. Scott, en
route to Long Point, to Major and Mrs. Salmon. " I long to see
you all again," the Colonel then wrote to Major Salmon, with
greetings "to Mrs. Salmon and George and Bill." The latter
had now become " William," the Judge of the Talbot district,
whose first wife was Emma, sister of Dr. John Rolph, and his
second Mary Fraser, daughter of a well-known Scotch family who
had settled at Perth and at Long Point.

Another letter from Colonel Talbot to Judge Salmon, of the
following year, shows that the Aireys had meantime arrived, adn
the aged writer's thoughts of a visit to England, and his further
hospitalities :

" PORT TALBOT, 27th March, 1848.

" MY DEAR WILLIAM, Perhaps you may be somewhat shocked at my
addressing- a learned Judge in so familiar a style, but I cannot depart from
old habits, having known and esteemed you from so early an age. I have
thoughts of visiting England during this spring should the old world last, but
all appears convulsed. I should like of all things that you could find time to
come to Port Talbot when the roads will admit, as I am anxious to make you
and Colonel and Mrs. Airey acquainted before I start.

" It has been a most extraordinary winter, no sleighing, but to-day it feels
genial and springlike. I have had Amelia and Eliza Harris for the last ten
days, and I had the Chief Justice with Captain LeFroy three days last week.
They brought me the first account of the revolution in France. Louis
Phillip may now shut up shop for the remainder of his life. I was delighted
to hear that Mr. Harris gave so flourishing news of you and my excellent
friend, Mrs. Salmon, your mother. The most of my land labours are at an
end and I have to abdicate like other Sovereigns. Pray let me hear from you
soon, and with kindest regards to your mother and your Mrs. Salmon and
George, etc., believe me, my dear William, ever affectionately yours,


Amelia Harris subsequently married Mr. Gilbert Griffin, well-


known as a Canadian post office inspector, for many years resident
in London, while Eliza became the wife of Colonel (afterwards
General) Crutchley of the 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers. The
Chief Justice, who, with his relative Captain LeFroy, had brought
the news which presaged the annihilation of the old world, was of
course Chief Justice Robinson. The Colonel evidently had begun
to think that his day as autocrat of the settlement, like those ot
Louis Phillip and the well-known Sovereign or Sovereen of the
Long Point region, was drawing to a close though his quaint
humour had not deserted him, as the pun on the latter's name
and the allusion to the unhappy French King show. The news
by no means deterred him from preparing for his trip, however,
as the following letter written to Judge Salmon six weeks later
shows :

" PORT TALBOT, 8th May, 1848.

" MY DEAR WILLIAM, I hope that this will find yourself and all friends of
your family enjoying- good health, and that it may be in your power to pay
me a visit within 10 days from the present, as I shall endeavour to start for
England on the iQth or 2Oth of this month. The road will, I think, be good.
I should have sooner thanked you for your letter of the ist of April and its
contents, 12, but have been troubled with gout in my right hand which
made it painful to write besides I have been as busy as a bee building a log
den for myself and servants, being- obliged to give up my old house to
Colonel Airey and family. The weather is now delightful and I sincerely
wish that my old dear friend, your mother, is enjoying it in her garden.
Now believe me, my dear William, ever affectionately yours,


The attack of gout was the forerunner of more serious physical
ailments, as the building of the "den" was evidence of lack of
harmony in the newly formed household, the prelude of a wider

Colonel Airey and his family, after their arrival, had at first
taken up their residence in the former home of Colonel Burwell,
at Burwell's Corners. Subsequently they moved to Port Talbot.
The Colonel's log castle was re-organized and added to, so as to
render it, in some degree, a comfortable residence for a gentle-
man's family. The uncle, it is said, had intended that his nephew
should reside on another part of his estate, at a convenient


distance from his own. Colonel Harwell's residence would seem
to have fulfilled this requirement as to distance, but for some
cause it was abandoned by Colonel Airey. Colonel Talbot's
fondness for and increasing" dependence upon young George
Macbeth, who humoured his whims or recognized the folly of
opposing them, may have had something to do with this change.

For a time, it is said, Colonel Talbot was nominally head of the
house, the households being united ; but his long bachelor life and
freedom from the restraints of society, his eccentricities, and the
unfortunately increasing habit of over-indulgence in stimulants a
habit engendered in the days, even then not altogether passed
away, when occasional and even frequent intoxication was
considered in the light of a social duty these, among other
causes, rendered a break in the household inevitable. The old
Colonel had become accustomed to an early midday dinner. To
the younger man dinner before seven in the evening was a social
departure of an impossible kind. In short, as it has been
expressively put, "the old bird had been disturbed in his nest and
could not be reconciled," even after the "den" was completed,
adjoining the main building on the west. Upon one occasion, it
is narrated, the Hon. James Crooks, an acquaintance of fifty
years' standing, travelling through the neighbourhood, called in
to see his old friend, Colonel Talbot, while the Aireys were at
church. Colonel Talbot wished to observe his usual custom of
offering some refreshment to his visitor, but found everything in
the shape of liquor under lock and key. Such incidents did not,
of course, tend to preserve harmony in the combined household.

The Lady Emmeline Stuart Wortley paid a visit to Port Talbot
in the summer of 1849, and published an account of her travels,
which extended over parts of North, Central, and South America.
In an interesting account of her sojourn at Port Talbot, which she
reached after coming from Buffalo by the steamer London to Port
Stanley, she gives a glimpse of the adjoining establishments there.
Of that of Colonel Airey she said

"Colonel and Mrs. A. have made this house delightfully comfortable, and
there is an air of true English comfort and of that indescribable refinement
which the gorgeously furnished saloons and chambers of the hotels we have


lately been at in New York and other places did not possess. Everything is in
the perfection of good taste. The drawing room is a most charming apart-
ment, with large windows reaching down to the ground, presenting a lovely
view of that fresh-water sea Lake Erie.

Her own room she described as " luxuriously appointed in some
particulars," being- draped with beautiful old Greek lace brought
by Mrs. Airey from the Ionian islands, where she had resided for
some time, and where one or more of her charming children were
born "little Greeks" she calls them. "Colonel Talbot," Lady
Emmeline continued, "does not live in this house, but in a sort
of shanty, which agrees extremely with my idea (probably a very
imperfect one) of an indian wig-warn, close by. He is going-,
almost immediately, to rebuild it and make a good-sized comfort-
able house of it."

Some account of Colonel Talbot's adventures, achievements,
and domestic accomplishments, with some personal anecdotes, are

Colonel Talbot, it is said, always aimed at making a visit to the
Old Country once in every decade. In his two last visits he was
accompanied by George Macbeth, and it was during the latest of
these that the meeting at Apsley House with his early comrade,
the Duke of Wellington, already referred to on a previous page,
took place.

It was in 1850 that Colonel Talbot, having made over to Colonel /
Airey thirteen thousand acres of land in Aldboro', set out on what
was to prove his last journey to England. He purposed settling
himself there or on the continent, it was supposed, for the
remainder of his days. He got as far as the district capital,
London, where he was overtaken by an illness which lasted
several weeks, during which he was the guest of Mr. and
Mrs. Harris, at Eldon House. Being now nearly eighty years of
age, it was hardly expected that he would recover, but, to the
surprise of everyone, he rallied and again set out on his journey,
accompanied by George Macbeth. The old land, from which the
Colonel had now exiled himself for close on half a century, was
at length reached, and the great exhibition of 1851 visited, and
the visit already referred to paid to Apsley House, where Arthur


Wellesley and Tom Talbot once again exchanged greetings, as
both neared the farther shore of the river of life.

It may be added that Donald Macbeth was despatched to join
Colonel Talbot and his brother, George, in England. This he
accomplished, but on the return journey he was accidentally
drowned at Buffalo.

John, the youngest of the Macbeth boys (the present genial
Deputy Clerk of the Crown at London, Colonel Macbeth), had now
taken up his abode with Colonel Airey at Port Talbot, and assisted
him in laying out the village of Tyrconnel, the surveyor being
Benjamin Springer.

In 1852 Colonel Airey received orders to return to England, and
having already got all of the Talbot estate which he was likely to
receive, he left Port Talbot, with his wife and family, forever.*
Those who had known them when there always spoke of them in
terms of the highest respect and esteem. On their departure, the
Port Talbot property was rented to Mr. Sanders, an Englishman,
who, with his family, occupied it for many years, his sons and
daughters becoming well-known residents of the district.

The relations of Colonel Talbot with his nephew, Colonel Airey,
had turned out most unfortunately. Both were, no doubt, to
some extent responsible for this. Colonel Airey was understood
to have claimed that he had come on the invitation of his uncle,
and with the promise of obtaining his entire estate. Colonel
Talbot is said to have denied having held out inducements to his
nephew to come, but admitted a reluctant assent to the latter's
own proposition to come in the character of expectant inheritor to

*On his return to England, Colonel Airey, became Military Secretary to
Lord Hardinge, the Commander-in Chief. In 1854 he received the command
of a brigade in the expedition against Russia. At the moment of embarking
he was, on ist September, appointed Quarter-Master General to the expedi-
tion in place of Lord de Ros, and acted in that capacity throughout the most
critical period of the Crimean war. He was the strongest man on the staff.
He was the right-hand man of Lord Raglan, who followed his advice in
most things, and at whose order Colonel Airey wrote the order for the famous
charge of the Light Brigade. He, however, as Quarter-Master General,
suffered much hostile critic-ism on account of the bad condition before
Sebastopol, unjustly as it turned out. He became a Major-General and K. C.
B. in 1854, and in November, 1855, was appointed Quarter-Master General at
the Horse Guards. He demanded a military enquiry into his conduct in the
Crimea, and a board of officers, presided over by Sir. A. Woodford, found


the estates. The nephewVassumption of management, whether
real or fancied, and the restraints placed upon his uncle's old-time
freedom of action, the latter's habits and fondness for George
Macbeth, no doubt all tended to widen the misunderstanding.

The obligation, however it may have been arrived at, Colonel
Talbot apparently felt that he had discharged by dividing his
estate and giving to Colonel Airey the portion already mentioned,
before the aged uncle's departure for England. He is reported to
have been greatly enraged to find, on his return to Port Talbot,
that his old home was in the hands of strangers, and his nephew
and his family departed. Mr. Sanders is said to have offered
to vacate the house, but Colonel Talbot refused to again
live in it, and betook himself to the abode he had provided
for the family of his old retainer, Jeffry Hunter, where the latter's
widow still lived, and there passed the remainder of his sojourn at
Port Talbot chafing, no doubt, within himself as he looked out
upon the property which he had acquired and improved with so
many years' toil and privation, which had now passed out of his

Mr. George Macbeth, however, having no such cause for
repining, made the acquaintance of the present inmates of the
Colonel's former home, and woed and won one of the daughters
of the family. He purchased a property in London and there took
his bride and with them the aged Colonel Talbot found a home
for the remainder of his days, which ended on 6th February, 1853.

The circumstances of the removal of the body of the founder of

that the trouble was due to the officers of the commissariat, and Colonel Airey
exonerated himself on the testimony of Sir J. Simpson, who had been sent to
report on the staff officers in the Crimea, and not only reported favourably on
Sir Richard Airey, but maintained him in his office when he succeeded Lord
Raglan. Sir Richard was made a Lieutenant-General in 1862, was Governor
of Gibralter 1865 to 1870, G. C. B. in 1867, Colonel of the 7th regiment in
1868, General in 1871, Adjutant-General at the Horse Guards from 1870 to
1876, and on his retirement from office after fifty-five years' service was created
Lord Airey in 1876. His last service to the army was as president of the well
known Airey commission, appointed in 1879, to enquire as to the result of the
short service system. He died I4th September, 1881, at the Grange, Leather-
head, the seat of Lord Wolseley. He is described as bred in ihe school of
Wellington, and as forming the best link between him and Lord Wolseley,
and his ability as never having been denied. (Vide Dictionary of National
Biography, and Lord Wolseley's recent work.)


the settlement from London to Port Talbot were such as to give
rise to a feeling on the part of many old settlers that proper
respect was not shown the remains a feeling which has not been
completely obliterated even at the present day. The late Sir
George Bannerman, baronet, of East Hill, Brackley, Northants in
England formerly of Glenbanner, near St. Thomas in a letter
to a friend (the late Edward Horton), written in 1898, said : " I
saw the hearse pull up in front of Smith's tavern, opposite
Blackwood's store " at the foot of the hill at the west end of St.
Thomas " and left standing without anyone near it, till the
driver had drinks. When it got to Fingal it was run into the

" Great was the indignation and horror of many of the old
settlers " wrote the present writer's father in his biography of
Colonel Talbot ''when they learnt that the remains of their old
benefactor had been so unworthily disposed of, for the last night
they were to remain above ground. One old settler, or rather a
son of one of the old settlers, Mr. Samuel Burwell, a faithful
adherent of Colonel Talbot's, with tears in his eyes, we are told,
begged to have the body removed to his own house close by, and
Mr. Partridge, a worthy settler, would have cheerfully done the
same ; but this, it appears, would have disturbed the order of
previous arrangement. It is even said that Mr. Lewis, the
innkeeper, would willingly have afforded the best room in his
house ; but no, the undertaker was inexorable, and answered to
all remonstrances that he had carried bigger men than Colonel
Talbot, and it was only after great excitement had arisen in the
village that the corpse was allowed to be removed from the hearse
and secured for the night under lock and key in the granary."
This granary, Mr. Lewis' son has informed the writer, was a
room attached to the rear of the house. The undertaker and his
men were no doubt to blame, for they are reported to have been
in a state of intoxication. That the remains were unaccompanied
by friends gave occasion to the unpleasant incident, though no
disrespect was intended.

On the following day gth February the corpse was removed
to Port Talbot, resting for a short time within the house where


nearly half a century of the Colonel's life had been passed. The
funeral was here formed, and the hearse, followed by sleighs
containing George Macbeth, H. C. R. Becher, Hon. J. G.
Goodhue, L. Lawrason, James Hamilton, J. B. Askin, and other
leading men from London and other parts of the settlement,
proceeded to St. Peter's church, Tyrconnel, where the funeral
service was read by the Rev. Mr. Holland, the rector, and the
remains lowered into the grave, over which a massive stone slab
is inscribed with the name of " The Honourable Thomas Talbot,
Founder of the Talbot Settlement."

By his will, read by Mr. Becher, co-executor with Mr. Macbeth,
at the grave, his estate not already disposed of, then estimated to
be worth the for those days large sum of ^50,000, was, with
the exception of an annuity of 20, to Jeffry Hunter's widow,
devised and bequeathed to George Macbeth.



THOSE who desire only the dry facts and details of history may
pass this chapter by, unread ; but to those readers who may wish to
know more of Colonel Talbot and what manner of man he was, as
well as of the people among' whom he lived, a few characteristic
anecdotes will give a better idea than can be obtained in any
other way. While the incidents which follow may not all be
regarded in the light of history, they are all believed to be at
least based upon fact.

Colonel Talbot possessed a keen sense of humour, an Irishman's
readiness in repartee, great powers of sarcasm, coupled with keen
observation and insight into character. Few men in Canada have
been represented in so many different and conflicting lights, the
reason being partly that his manner differed according to the
company he was in, and in part because, with a biting tongue
and often gruff manner, he possessed a kind heart and generous
spirit. With those who were his intimates and they were the
few and those whom he liked, he was gentle and kindly ; with
those he disliked, those who his quick perception told him were
lazy or insincere, and those who crossed him, or endeavoured to
over-reach or to thwart him, he was rough mannered and even

More anecdotes of Colonel Talbot are associated with the
celebrated audience window at Port Talbot than with any other
spot, because it was there that the eccentric Colonel and the
settler in most cases first met face to face, and the interview was
usually of a character and the appearance of the Colonel such as
to impress themselves on the applicant for land for the remainder
of his days to be retailed to his children and grandchildren as
they sat by the fireside in the long winter evenings.


Owing- to the Colonel's isolated position at Port Talbot, rough
characters were tempted at first to extort by force what they
could not otherwise obtain. One of the Colonel's " land pirates,"
as he was wont to call them, upon one occasion, it is said, laid
hands on him and threw him down, and to prevent further
encounters of the kind the audience window was constructed by
making- one of the panes of glass open and shut from within.
The applicant for land approached this window just as he would a
post office wicket, but often in fear and trembling. The " what
do you want?" with which the Colonel seems invariably to have
opened the interview was somewhat disconcerting to a stranger
and impressed itself on his memory with all that followed.
The forenoon was the portion of each day which the Colonel, in
later years, assigned to the land business. He made it a rule to
take no spirits before his mid-day dinner, so that he was always
fresh for business in the forenoon, whatever his condition might
be later on.

" D n your calomel, pills, opium and blisters ! " the Colonel is
reported to have exclaimed on one occasion to Dr. Goodhue, who
had complimented him on his good health and looks during the
cholera outbreak. " There is my morning doctor" pointing to
a cold bath in the corner of the room " and there is my afternoon
physician " indicating a bottle of his favourite old Canadian
whiskey. " At night I sleep soundly owing to a clear conscience,
for I throw politics and temperance lectures to the d 1," he
added, the doctor being a temperance lecturer.

Once when Colonel Talbot was walking with Colonel Burwell
in the woods before breakfast, the latter, after they had proceeded
some distance, pulled out a flask, took a sip, and handed it to his
companion, who declined, saying with an oath, "Burwell, if you
continue to drink before dinner, you'll be a drunkard before you're
forty years old ! "

To return to the audience window. If the applicant impressed
the Colonel favourably Jeffry Hunter was called upon to hand
down the map, and the applicant's name being pencilled upon it
subject to erasure if the settler failed to settle upon the lot or to
make an honest attempt to fulfil his settlement duties a memor-


andum was handed out and both the interview and the window
closed. But Jeffry's duties did not end here. He acted as butler
and waited at table and not infrequently when a land seeker from
a distance arrived over night to be ready for the morning" recep-
tion, Jeffry, who understood his master's humours thoroughly,
made an opportunity to slip in a word of business for the wayfarer
in the kitchen to the amusement of the guests at the Colonel'i

Jeremy Crandell, a would-be settler, was, however, according
to report, ushered in one time by Jeffry, contrary to rule, when
the Colonel turned a flushed and angry countenance and
demanded his name. The man was so terrified that he could not
reply, whereupon the Colonel demanded his money, which was
immediately handed over. Jeffry now escorted the unhappy man
to the kitchen. In the morning the Colonel did business with him
and returned him his money, but it was a standing joke against
Crandell that he had lost both name and money on his first
appearance at Port Talbot.

The man just referred to had at first intended to take with him
John Barber, one of the Colonel's earliest settlers, to introduce
him, Mr. Barber having performed a like service for others with
good effect but Crandell was too impatient to await Mr.
Barber's convenience. It is narrated of John Barber himself that
when he first arrived he was so rigid a Presbyterian that he kept
the Sabbath strictly from sunset on Saturday to sunrise on
Monday, reading his bible and lodging meanwhile at Port Talhot,
whence he sallied out each Monday morning to work, with a
week's provisions prepared by the Colonel and himself. One
Saturday night the Colonel became alarmed at the non-arrival of
Johnny, as he called him, and himself set out in search of him,
with some food, which he carried through the woods to the
settler's shanty, where he found him. "To my question," said
the Colonel, " why he did not come home as usual, I received for
reply, that he had worked till sunset on the Saturday and of
course would not break the Sabbath by walking to Port Talbot.
I cursed him for his prejudice, threw down the provisions,
entreating him not to work any more on the Saturday, as he was


fool enough to starve, in preference to coming- home as he ought
to do." Mr. Barber became a prosperous settler on a valuable
farm on which his son Phineas, a nonogenarian, now lives and
in after years was again the subject of the Colonel's kindness,
when having during the war been pillaged by American marauders,
Colonel Talbot supplied him and his family with blankets and
other necessaries.

Colonel Talbot had an aversion to Yankees of a speculative
turn. One such, on his way to Port Talbot, fell in with an
Englishman fresh from the home" land, clad in smock frock, small
clothes and gaiters, and wearing a low-crowned hat. Amos, the
Yankee, was in appearance his antithesis, clad in a blue-gray
short coat, with swallow tails, and "pants" to match. Halting
at " Waters'," they conferred with their host and others, and it
was arranged that Amos should first go and try his luck at Port
Talbot, while John remained at Waters'. The following colloquy
at the well-known window is reported as the result : " Well,
what do you want ? " "I guess, Colonel, I should like to draw
a lot of land." " Well, I guess I have got none for you."
Window closed. Amos returned to Waters', vowing vengeance
on the "old coon" at Port Talbot, who had taken him for a
Yankee. " But I say, friend John," he said, " let us change
coats and old Beelzebub won't take me for a Yankee then, I
guess." Not long after he approached the window once more, in
John's smock frock and hat, and, feigning his manner and speech,
said, " I's com'd, Colonel, to axe yer honour could give me a lot
of land, 'cause missus and the fam'ly want to become zettlers."
The Colonel looked him full in the face, then turning his head
called, in a husky voice, " Jeffry, Jeffry, set on the dogs ; here's a
wolf in sheep's clothing ! "

Jeffry and the dogs settled more than one applicant's case it
seems. An Irishman, who found he could not make headway
with the Colonel on the score of their common nationality, grew
truculent and boasted of his pedigree, declaring it as honourable
and his coat-of-arms as ancient as those of the Talbots of
Malahide. " My dogs don't understand heraldry," was the
Colonel's response, " and if you don't take yourself off, they'll


not leave a coat to your back ! "

Of another shrewd American named Thurston, the Colonel,
contrary to his usual custom, asked if he had any recommenda-
tions, and on his replying in the affirmative, the Colonel asked
"From whom?" "From the Almighty," was the answer.
"And what does He say?" was next asked. " He recommends
me to take care of myself and get as much land as I can." The
reply so pleased the Colonel that he forthwith gave him a lot.

An independent Scotchman once essayed to appeal from the
Colonel's decision refusing him a lot. " I'll gang to your
betters," he exclaimed. " Go and be d d," the Colonel retorted,
"for you can't find them." The would-be settler journeyed to
York, and after an unsuccessful application to the Colonel's friend,
Governor Gore, to whom the latter had, meantime, given a hint by
letter, he returned to the settlement and the Colonel sent for him.
" Well," he demanded, " have you found my betters, or yet a lot
of land, after your long tramp ? " On which the proud Scot drew
himself up and answered "neither of them," whereupdn the
Colonel invited him to have a glass of whiskey and water and
entered his name on a choice lot, which he said he had intended
reserving for himself.

After an unusually warm interview with a County Wexford man
the Colonel is reported to have called him " a Papist." " I am,"
was the response. " I'll fix you," replied the Colonel ; " I'll send
you among the Orangemen, and they'll kill you." "The very
thing I want," retorted the applicant, nothing daunted. He was
given a lot in London township, and Colonel Talbot never went
that way afterward without enquiring after his welfare.

The interview of another Irishman with the Colonel is chronicled
as follows :*

A Patlander who had heard of Colonel Talbot's reputed eccentricities,
thought he would take him in his own humour, and accordingly made his way
to the well-known window, where the cackling and fluttering of poultry soon
announced his arrival and brought the Colonel to the spot, and " what do you
want," the first invariable salutation, convinced our adventurer that he was in
the right place. "I have come, Colonel, to see, as I have a large rising

*E. Ermatinger's Life of Colonel Talbot, page 96, quoting Dr. Dunlop.


family, whether you couldn't give me two or three hundred acres of land."
"Devil a sod," was the reply. "Well, I was thinking, Colonel, if I got a
grant of land I could make some improvement in the settlement." " I dare
say you could, but I have got no land for you." "Well, I always heard,

Colonel, that you were a good friend to the poor, and " " I want none

of your blarney ; you can have one hundred acres in Tilbury West." " Faith
Colonel," rejoined Pat, " I think I've come far enough west already. Perhaps
y'er Honour could give me two or three lots in the Town of London."
"They are all giren out already ; I have none in it to give but stop ! here,
Jeffry, hand me the map." Jeffry, who was the Colonel's shadow on these
occasions, soon spread the town out before him, and after conning over it for
some time, "Yes," said the Colonel, "here are two lots on Simcoe street; you
can have them." "Simcoe street ! where'll that be? Maybe it's in the woods
yet. I'm a bit of an ould soldier, d'ye see, Colonel, and always like to face
the enemy," said Rogers, with an arch look, "and would thank you to give
me the lots as convanient as you can to the Gaol and Court House." But the
Colonel had no other lots to give, and Rogers was about to depart when the
thought struck him, he'd try the Colonel's patience a little further, come what
might. So he turned as the audience window was about to close, and " what
do you want " again struck his ear. " I was thinking, Colonel, that there are
some settlement duties to be done on the lots in Simcoe street, and some sort
of houses to be put on them." "Yes," was the reply. " If I may be so bold
then, at whose expense will this be done? At yours or mine, Colonel?"
This was enough ; the Colonel merely replied " at yours, to be sure, and you
may take yourself off." The window closed and the interview terminated.
Rogers settled at St. Thomas.

A Highlander from the island of Mull, who had been remiss in
the performance of his settlement duties, and stood, consequently,
in danger of losing his land, set out for Port Talbot, it is said,
with the intention of saving his lot from confiscation. Stopping
by the way at Waters', where he had a glass of brandy, he boasted
that he was going to scold Colonel Talbot for having taken his
land and given it to an Irishman. Such sayings often reached the
Colonel's ears soon after their utterance. It was so in this
instance, and next day when the Mullman was approaching, the
Colonel, who had accompanied some departing guests outdoors,
greeted him with "Halt, you rascal; did you not threaten
yesterday to break every bone in my skin ? " then turning,
quickly entered the house. The Mullman walked to the kitchen
and sat down with the servants at the dinner table and enjoyed a


hearty meal. He stayed for the night, ensconcing himself in one
of the men-servants' beds. Next morning and noon he repeated his
table performance of the previous day, and stretched himself
between meals on a settee. Jeffry thought it time to report to
the Colonel the presence of a "strange sort of man in the
kitchen." "Well, what does he want?" demanded the Colonel.
"Why, he helps himself, seemingly, to everything he wants. I
know what he don't want." "What's that, Jeffry?" asked the
Colonel. "A good appetite, sir, eats as if he had been used to
it all his life." "Call him here," said the Colonel. When he
appeared, Colonel Talbot asked what he meant by quartering
himself on him so unceremoniously. "I will na gang awa' the
year nor never, until you gie me my land again," he replied.
"Take it," responded the Colonel, "and go to the deil with it,
and if ever I see you back here it will be my turn to break bones."
The man now raised the siege and departed, satisfied with the
success of his plan of campaign.

The Colonel's goodness of heart is illustrated by the case of
a young hired man who had a strong prejudice against doctors
and medicines, and was doctored and nursed through a serious
illness by the Colonel himself, who, moreover, paid him his full
wages at the end of his term.

The ready wit and sarcastic humour of Colonel Talbot is well
illustrated by his remark to the Bishop, himself a Scotchman,
when the case of a long-winded clergyman was under discussion
" I never knew anybody that could bear a long sermon but a
Scotchman when he pays for it."

Though the Colonel was not the most devoted of churchmen, he
was never charged with encouraging dissent. "Good morning,
Colonel," said a Congregationalist minister, who had come to ask

a subscription, "and " "What do you want?" was the

reply. " We want to make some improvement in our neighbour-
hood, and " "There's much need of it," cut in the Colonel.

" We're going to build a house," persisted the visitor. " A house
for what? " "A house for the worship of God, and I just came
to solicit a subscription." "I'll give you nothing." " Why not,
Colonel? " " Because you gather a parcel of you together, sing


a psalm, howl and yell like a pack of wolves, then go and cheat
your neighbour and come back and sing a hymn over it." The
Colonel and the minister in question, who was an old settler, had
a mutual respect for one another, nevertheless, and it is said that
the latter took the rebuff in good part and was even constrained
to admit some truth in the Colonel's remarks.

The Colonel had just returned from England upon one occasion
and, travelling to Port Talbot with his brother, a confirmed
grumbler, promised him a good glass of wine at Port Talbot.
Arrived at home, the Colonel presently called upon the man he
had left in charge of his cellar to bring up some of the best port.
The man, an Irishman, pretended to go, but presently returned
with the startling intelligence that there was no wine left the
cask was empty. "What, none!" exclaimed the incredulous
Colonel, who never allowed himself to be without good wine.
"None, your honour," replied, the man, fertile in excuses,
" It all dried up with the hot weather."

Though the Colonel's wine was of the best, his food and
furniture were of the plainest, though most substantial, character.
An ex-sheriff of old London, Parkins by name, was once dining
at the Colonel's and made some disparaging remark about a friend
of the latter. The Colonel promptly informed him that he did
not permit such language to be used at his table. "Your table ! "
contemptuously replied the ex-sheriff, lifting the cloth and
disclosing a pine board, "do you call this a table?" "Jeffry,"
said the Colonel blandly, "let Mr. Parkins' horse be brought to
the door."

A pedantic resident of the township of Howard once approached
the Colonel with a local grievance couched in the most high
sounding phrases, and proceeded to lay a complaint against a
settler in sentences and words of the longest kind. "What the

do you mean, man? " cut in the Colonel, who did not

favour circumlocution, " if you do not come down to the level of
my poor understanding, I can do nothing for you." The man
resumed in plainer words, but ambiguous manner, to complain of
his neighbour's deficiencies in the work on his lot. "Come out
with it," exclaimed the Colonel. " Now I see what you would be


at. You wish to oust your neighbour, and get the land for

yourself, but I'll be if you do." The attempt, which was

one of a class not infrequently made, failed, the Colonel having
detected the truth hidden in a multitude of words.

One woman, George Crane's Scotch wife, will live in history as
the only woman who ever vanquished the Colonel. She looked upon
all the latter's possessions as belonging to the settlers in general,
and one day demanded one of his horses to take her to mill.
" Indeed, I will give you no horse," the Colonel boldly answered.
"You won't, won't you ?" cried the Amazon, seizing a carving
fork, " we'll see whether you would rather give a horse, or be
run through with this fork ! " The Colonel, retreating in dismay,
cried out, " Jeffry, Jeffry, order a horse for this Scotch she d 1."
The horse was given her and in due time returned.

Colonel Talbot's appearance and characteristics in his younger
days when he was with Governor Simcoe will be of interest.
" The Colonel was the prettiest, the neatest and most active of
the whole party," said Fleming, who acted as a boatman on one
of the Governor's expeditions along the shore of Lake Erie. He
was described as actively employed, from the moment of landing,
in gathering wood for fuel, tent pitching, aiding the boatmen at
the portages. Once the Governor remarked that there were men
enough to do the work. The young officer's laconic reply was,
" None more manly than I am," to which the Governor is said to
have assented with a smile.

It was during one of his trips with the Governor that the
Colonel (then Lieutenant Talbot) was made a chief of the Six
Nations at the Grand River reserve. Lady Emmeline Stuart
Wortley gave his version of the affair and a couple of anecdotes
connected therewith as follows :

He tells me he is in reality " the last of the Mohicans," having been adopted
years ago into this gallant tribe and called by them by an Indian name. He
told me a remarkable instance of the accurate memory of the North American
Indians. It seems that having been away, and not having seen any of the
tribe for a great many years, one day on his return he met an Indian whom he
did not in the least recognize, but who the moment he saw him repeated
softly his Indian name in the usual calm, impassive manner of the redman.
Another story, not of a Mohican, but of a gentleman apparently quite as cool


in his proceedings, amused me much. It appears, some years ago, the
Colonel called to his servant to bring him some warm water for shaving
purposes. The servant did not answer, and after repeatedly calling him in
vain, Colonel Talbot ascertained at length that the man had marched off,
having, I believe, spoken before of feeling discontented where he was, but
without giving any reason to think he would shake the dust of Port Talbot
from his shoes so suddenly. Some years afterward Colonel Talbot one
morning called for warm water, and in walked the truant most demurely, jug
in hand, and proceeded to take upon himself all his once repudiated valet
duties, in the most quiet and regular manner imaginable, as if he had never
been absent from his post for an hour. He alluded not to what had
occurred, nor did Colonel Talbot. The Mohican could not easily surpass
that, I think, in coolness and self-possession, and Colonel Talbot, too, was
not made one of the tribe for nothing.

An intending settler on the flat, wet lands of Tilbury is reported
to have one day asked Colonel Talbot if he thought the land itself

would be good if the water were drained off. " How the h

can I tell you? " demanded the irate Colonel ; "do you think I
am a duck that I can dive down and see ? " "Is the duck the
only bird that dives in these parts ? " was the quiet rejoinder.
The veiled allusion to the bird known as the helldiver served both
to reprove the Colonel's profanity and restore harmony and
mutual good humour.

The well-known Dr. Dunlop of the Huron district and Colonel
Talbot had much in common both as to the nature of their
pursuits and their humour and love of a joke. Naturally they
were friends and boon companions when they met. In person
they were as dissimilar as might be, the " Tiger," as Dunlop
was called, being a very large man, the Colonel somewhat short.
The first time Dunlop visited Port Talbot he thought to play a
prank upon the Colonel, and stopping some distance from the
house, he turned his coat and bonnet inside out, cut himself a
huge stick and proceeded on his way to Malahide Castle.
Arrived at the door, he gave it a tremendous rap with the stick,
and when Jeffry answered the startling summons and demanded
who was there, a huge figure loomed up in the darkness in
fantastic dress and a gruff voice roared, "Go to the diel and
shake yourself." Jeffry lost no time in reporting to the Colonel
the strange arrival. " Who's there ? " now roared the Colonel in


turn. "Go to the deil and shake yourself," was the only reply
he got, but it satisfied the Colonel. " Show him in, Jeffry,"
he said quietly, "it is either Dunlop or the devil."

The Colonel is reported to have discovered a man at work upon
what he mistook for an ungranted and unlocated lot, and at once
approaching, demanded of him who he was and what he was doing
there. The man eyed him quietly and replied, " I'm Sandy
Macdonald, and who the deil are you, to give you back yer ain
salutation?" " I'm Colonel Talbot and I'd like to know what
right you have on this lot?" "Colonel this, or Colonel that,"
said the Scotchman, " does na matter tae me. The lot's my ain
and I wad advise ye tae get out o' ma turnip patch an' stop
trampin' ma neeps or I'll set the bull-dog on ye " and he called
to a fierce looking animal, which approached the Colonel. " Call
off your dog," roared the Colonel, pulling out a pistol, "or I'll
put a ball through him and have you in gaol besides. " Mutual
explanations followed and the Colonel departed satisfied of his

A certain man is reported to have one day applied to the Colonel
for a lot and been refused. He departed much disappointed, but
ubsequently met with a successful applicant, who agreed to give
him half his land if he would do the settlement duties for the
whole. Not long after, Colonel Talbot, happening to be in the
neighborhood, saw and recognized the man at work pursuant to
the bargain. The Colonel inquired whether he was the man to
whom he had refused land. Being answered in the affirmative,
he next enquired why he then was doing work on the lot. When
told the true reason he said, " Very well, go right on. He will
give you one-half for doing his settlement duties and I will give
the other for doing your own. Tell your friend when you see
him that he will have to come to Port Talbot and locate more
land and do the settlement duties himself."



THE foregoing anecdotes, coupled with what has gone before,
though probably in some instances exaggerated by the accretions
of intervening years, serve to illustrate both the character and
aims of one of the most extraordinary men of the last century in
Canada. His critics and they have been numberless generally
overlook the fact that he was in reality a product of the century
before, and that during the last quarter of the eighteenth century
the formative period of his life was passed. He was of the
Georgian era, and his power as the uncrowned king of these
regions may be said to have almost expired with the last of those
kings whose confidence he enjoyed and under whom he flourished.
He informed Mrs. Jameson in 1837 that he had accomplished
what he had set out to do. Though he lived until 1853, the
intervening years were the period of his decline. They witnessed
the dawn of the Victorian era the era of manifold blessings in
things material, political, educational, scientific and religious
yet these came after the period of Colonel Talbot's chief power.

In an address to the Ontario Historical Society at its meeting
held in St. Thomas after the Talbot Settlement Centennial
celebration of 1903, the present writer said concerning the
founder of the settlement :

Judging Colonel Talbot by present day standards, it is easy to depict him
a monster of cruelty, oppression, rapacity and intemperance as indeed it
seems rather the fashion now to paint him. Placed in the light and shade
and amid the environments of the days in which he lived, probably he would
present a different figure and moral aspect to his critics.

Slavery was made illegal by the first parliament of the province which he
attended in the suite of the first Governor, yet was not immediately com-
pletely abolished. Duelling continued to be regarded as a necessary mode


of settling certain classes of disputes for many years after, while gambling
and intemperance were almost necessary social accomplishments. Land
grabbing was general and whole townships were granted to individuals who
made no sacrifice either of money or effort to promote settlement to the
extent that Colonel Talbot did. Indeed colonization schemes for the enrich-
ment of speculators, rather than the benefit of the colonists, have not been
unknown even in our own day. Responsible government was imperfectly
understood in the motherland, and much less in the colonies.'

I mention these things, not as an apologist for Colonel Talbot or defender
of his methods or habits, but simply to show the necessity for surrounding
historical characters with the atmosphere and environments in which they

In the foregoing pages an attempt has been made to depict
Colonel Talbot as he really was, with the facts, persons and
surroundings among whom he at different periods moved. His
early life, his travels, his letters, his sayings and doings, his
characteristics and habits, manners and mode of life, his hardships
and how he overcame them, his aims and how far he attained
them, his social, political and even his religious views, have been
indicated and portrayed with as much truth and faithfulness as, it
is believed, the known facts and records admit of. The writer
has endeavoured neither to extenuate his faults nor to magnify
his achievements. It is hoped that what has been written will
enable the reader to form a just estimate of the man who was the
central figure of the settlement during its first half century.

Much depends upon the point of view from which he is regarded
whether from the standpoint of the commencement or the close
of the nineteenth century. Judged by the standard of the latter,
he appears to have been autocratic and intolerant in his opinions
and public acts and in the performance of his official duties and in
his private life irreligious, blasphemous, and, in his later years
especially, well nigh besotted. Judged by the standard of the times
in which he lived to so stigmatise him would be regarded as unjustly
severe and attributable to either political rancour or private
spleen. Autocratic he was with the arbitrariness of the military
commander in the days when, even so late as 1840 or thereabouts,
the cries of soldiers writhing under the lash at the barracks in St.
Thomas were reported as reaching the ears oT the inhabitants of
Hog's Hollow in the valley a good half-mile away and with the


arbitrariness of the magistrate in the days when theft was punish-
able with death. Intolerant he was with the intolerance of the
days when king's and governors dismissed their ministers at will
and accepted or spurned their advice as best suited them ; when
no clergyman, unless of the established church, could join in
marriage two members of his own flock ; when political opponents
scarce recognized one another on the street. His St. Thomas
speech would not bear the criticism of the present day, but it
without doubt voiced the sentiments of the dominant political
party at the time and for more than a decade after it was uttered.
It probably served its purpose of checking- the spread of disaffec-
tion and so helping to preserve this fair land for the British
Empire, whatever may be now thought of the sentiments it
expressed or the language in which they were clothed.

All evidence points to Governor Simcoe as the Gamaliel at
whose feet Talbot's political views and land policy were imbibed
that respectable first governor whose sturdy loyalty to the British
crown had been intensified in the revolutionary war, whose policy
was to fortify the province by placing lieutenants of counties all
along its borders, around each of whom would be gathered
settlers to form the nucleus of a force to repel invasion. Though
Colonel Talbot was not appointed a lieutenant of a county, a
reference to Simcoe's letter to Lord Hobart (anti chapter vt.J
.will show that his declared object in undertaking the settlement
then was " by precept and example to enforce principles of loyalty,
obedience and industry, amongst those with whom he will be
surrounded." How well he adhered to this policy the preceding
pages sufficiently indicate. No charge against him can be sustained
of neglect of any of these principles, and the settlement to this
day testifies to the manner in which he executed his trust in these
respects. If any complaint was heard it was only of the exaction
of a too implicit obedience to his behests. Yet few who were
deserving complained, or justly complaining, were refused consid-
eration, though the manner in which it was given may not always
have pleased. That the Colonel was just and even generous in
his treatment of most deserving settlers is pretty generally
conceded. The exceptions, if any there were, were probably


those who opposed his will and endeavoured to thwart him.
Love of justice was as manifest a trait in his character as was real
kindness of heart. But his self-will was a more manifest charac-
teristic to the eyes of those unacquainted with, or who refused to
see, the more latent and better qualities of his nature. And, like
most self-willed people, this characteristic, when not self-repressed,
thrived and grew alike when met with opposition and with com-
pliance, and increased with age. It was, fortunately for the
Colonel, not untempered by a native shrewdness which caused
him to recognize the few limitations to his power when met with,
and then to set his fertile brain to work to attain his object in
some more subtle way.

That Colonel Talbot did not commence the settlement from
purely disinterested motives is manifest. Had he done so, he
would have been a patriot and philanthropist simply and solely.
He obviously aimed, also, at acquiring and building up for himself
an estate. This he did, not by dishonourable means, though he
thereby retarded the settlement of the townships in which his
lands lay. Compared with the non-resident grantees of waste
lands, who did nothing to improve them or the neighbourhood in
which they were, he was both patriotic and philanthropic. With
the same expenditure of toil, time, ability, and money, he could
have acquired a fortune elsewhere, without undergoing the
privations he did. The Scotch settlers on his lands made no
allowance for him on that account, however. They felt that they
were, morally, as much entitled to the lands as he, and with many
that feeling never died out. As to why Colonel Talbot wished to
acquire an estate, no one will now have any clearer idea than of
his motive for deserting the world of fashion to bury himself for
life in the woods. Both are unsolved problems, though many
have attempted to solve them, and in previous pages the writer
has suggested probable motives. The vanity of human ambition
could hardly have received a better illustration than the purely
personal result of the Colonel's lifetime of toil and privation
affords. He acquired an estate, but the larger portion of it
passed-into the hands of a stranger to his family. That he had a
larger and nobler ambition to leave behind him a happy and


prosperous and loyal British settlement and that this ambition
was fulfilled, probably afforded him great satisfaction, and compen-
sated for other disappointments in the end.

His was a proud and independent spirit, which brooked no
interference with his plans, and admitted no rival within what he
considered his own domain. Mr. Simon Zelotes Watson found
out, to his cost, that the Colonel would admit no one to
partnership in his land business. In politics, though his Toryism
was undoubted, he preserved, as a rule, his independence of
provincial politics never even took his seat, it is said, as a
Legislative Councillor, and did not shrink from an encounter with
the provincial administration when they attempted to interfere
with him beyond what he conceived to be their right. His only
public political speech was made when he thought sedition
threatened the provincial authorities and his feeling of loyalty to
the crown impelled him to actively interfere. His immense
influence was, no doubt, cast in favour of the Tory candidates as
a rule, but passively, rather than actively, exerted.

His language and habits were those of his day and generation
in the class from which he came. Courtly and polite, and even
tender, in his manner to and treatment of ladies, warm hearted,
genial, and most companionable with those he looked upon as
friends, he turned a rough tongue upon those whom he thought
deserved it, and garnished his language with oaths, after the
fashion of his early days. His use, or abuse, of wine and liquor
was, it is conceived, not in excess of that of those of his own class
in either the Old Country or Canada in the early days. Habits
and prejudices engendered in the barracks and in the carousing
circles patronized by the sons of George III. were not easy to
shake off, and though the evidence shows that Colonel Talbot
kept them in subjection in early life, his isolation and the privations
he endured led to their gradually obtaining a mastery though
not so far as to incapacitate him for business or justify his being
classed as a drunkard. If he got drunk and there is little direct
evidence of this it was after the fashion of a gentleman of
his day, under his own or a friend's roof, or where he could be
bundled to bed in the old-fashioned gentleman's style. By such


as he, the new-fangled "Cold Water Drinking Societies" were
regarded as dangerous innovations, especially where their members
also took part in radical political agitation.

As a military commander, Colonel Talbot achieved no brilliant
success, either in Europe or here. His natural caution has, by
some, been regarded as even akin to cowardice, yet he served
with some distinction, and was present at the battles of Lundy's
Lane and Fort Erie. He was well out of harm's way when the
Americans landed at Port Dover, and gave them the slip at Port
Talbot. He probably understood himself best and found useful
occupation at the base of supplies, and did good work in connec-
tion with the transport service and as an organizer of the militia.

For the rest, Colonel Talbot was upright in his business
relations, honourable in his dealings, and just and benevolent by
nature. He lacked humility. The following quotation, as
containing words of wisdom, is made from Edward Ermatinger's
biography of the Colonel :

" He was deficient in humility. He set out in life with the best intentions,
but he neglected the only safe course to carry them out. Like many other
great men, he relied too much on the strength of his own mind. We have
seen that in early life he did not neglect the ordinances of religion ; he did not
at once abandon those forms of devotion, with which he had become familiar-
ized in the society of the civilized world ; but the habit of self-reliance in
religion led him astray, as it has frequently done other men. The mind of
man is so wonderfully constructed that, no matter how powerful the intellect,
or how exalted the genius, if he does not implicitly rely on strength superior
to his own and habitually make use of the means which religion places within
bis reach, his strength becomes weakness. Of this great fact history
furnishes innumerable instances, and we have examples daily before our eyes.
Men acquire wealth, fame, and earthly glory in this life, but if they have not
made religion the first and chief consideration, the hour of death is a blank
space in their existence, and they have toiled for worse than nothing."

That Colonel Talbot's last hour was such as this, happily, no
man may say.

The youthful comrade of Wellington, the young officer, " the
once gay Tom Talbot," the companion of princes and governors,
the homespun and sheepskin-clad hermit of Port Talbot, the founder
and early ruler of the settlement was gone but the settlement
lived on and advanced apace.


The day when the pioneer's axe cut and shaped everything was
past. Saw mills and factories were plentiful. The day of coarse
flour, pounded out by hand, was gone. Mills were busy on almost
every considerable stream. The newly-arrived infant settler was
no longer rocked to sleep in the sap-trough cradle, nor the
departed settler interred in a dug-out log coffin. Flint and steel
had given place to lucifer matches, flint locks to percussion caps.
On the lake, where canoe, row boat, and schooner had, in turn,
appeared, the steamboats now plied to and fro. He who carried,
at first, his load to mill upon his back or jolted, at snail's pace,
behind the patient oxen, had first his saddle horse, then horse and
waggon, now sometimes his carriage or "buggy," while stage
coaches now bowled along the leading roads. Their day, too,
was now fast drawing to a close and the roar of the iron horse
was soon to be heard. The first locomotive produced in Canada
was built some two months after Colonel Talbot's death. Two
months later and the first railway within the province was in
operation, while, before a new year dawned, the iron horse was
destined to reach London on its westward way, and the latter
town, shortly after, to become a city.

Meantime, the Talbot road, almost from end to end of its
hundred miles and more, and many other leading roads as well,
were flanked by sunny fields and smiling orchards. The newly
incorporated village of St. Thomas had its brick town hall, the
newly set apart County of Elgin its handsome court house, whose
cut stone front bore upon its forehead, where they still remain,
the figures 1853.

And what, may be asked, of the pioneer settlers themselves ?
Many aged men and women, clad in the fast-disappearing
homespun, gathered their children and grandchildren around the
blazing log in the old open fire-place, whilst they told the story of
their early struggles and privations, of cold and hunger, of wolves
howling around the sheep pens, of war and pestilence, and of first
meeting with the eccentric old Colonel, just laid in his last resting
place. Many an old pioneer couple now rested from their labours
i the small fenced plot on the farm, rendered sacred to their
descendants by the presence of their remains, while the log house,



now untenanted except by cattle, sheep, or poultry, was hidden
behind a new and more pretentious, if not more comfortable
dwelling. They rested from their labours, the results of which
their sons now looked out upon with pride, as well as thankful-
ness, conscious at the same time that contentment as real and
happiness as great sometimes greater had reigned within the
log cabin as in the new farm house.

They had fought a good fight these old pioneers and in hope
that the memory of them will not fade, these lines are written.








/. Petition of Simon Zelotes Watson.
II. Letter of Colonel Talbot to Simon Z. Watson.
III. Rough draft of letters to Major Halton, Governor
Gore's Secretary, and to S. Z. Watson, kept by
Colonel Talbot.

IV. Letter Major Halton to Colonel Talbot.
V. Letter S. Z. Watson to Colonel Talbot.
VI. Draft Memorial of Colonel Talbot re Talbot Road.
VII. Letter President Brock to Colonel Talbot.

I. Petition of Simon Zelotes Watson.


The petition of Simon Zelotes Watson of the Township of Westminster
most respectfully sheweth :

That your petitioner having been permitted to settle the broken front and
two concessions in the said Township of Westminster by himself and followers ;
that many of his said followers with their families will be obliged to come into
the Province (some by land and others by water) via Niagara ; that to be
obliged to come to the seat of Government of this Province to report them-
selves, will greatly add to the expense, hardship and delays of a long and
tedious journey ; that Port Talbot being in the vicinity of the said Township
of Westminster,


Your petitioner humbly prays that he may be permitted to report his said
followers to Thomas Talbot, Esquire, and that his approbation of their being
fit persons to become settlers on the vacant lands of the Crown, shall be a
sufficient authority for your petitioner to return them to the Government as
his followers to settle on the lands allotted to him and them in the said

And he, as in duty bound, will ever pray,

York, 1 5th February, 1811.

II. Letter Colonel Talbot to S. Z. Watson.

WESTMINSTER, 2nd March, 1811.

In consequence of its haVing been understood at York that several families
were about to place themselves on the road lots in Westminster, whom you
had engaged in this Province, and further, that you require that each settler
should bind himself to pay the difference between the established fees, $100,
for your permission to locate, His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor has
commanded me to inform you that no recommendation for a grant of land on
the tract surveyed for the accommodation of the families which you reported
to the council, were disposed to move into the Province, will be attended to,
but for such applicants as shall actually have moved direct from Lower
Canada, adding that I must explain to such persons that no extraordinary
charges are to be imposed upon them, as His Majesty will in every instance
prevent all manner of speculation upon the Crown Lands in this part. I had
hoped to have found you in Westminster, but on my passing through Oxford
I was informed that you had stopped at the head of the Lake. I have there-
fore felt it particularly my duty to make known to all concerned the intentions
of the Government with respect to the lands in Westminster, so that ignor-
ance may not be offered hereafter as a plea, and at the same time to state
positively for your information that I will not recommend any of your followers
but such as come under the description that His Excellency in council has
thought fit to receive.

You no doubt will perceive the necessity of a strict compliance on your
part with the wishes of His Majesty's Government in this Province.

I am, sir,

Your very obedient servant,

S. Z. Watson, Esq.


///. Rough Draft of Letters to Major Halton and to S. Z.
Watson, kept by Colonel Talbot.

PORT TALBOT, i4th March, 1811.

Two days after I had the pleasure of writing to you by Shenich on the
subject of the lands in Westminster, Mr. Watson called on me, accompanied
by his friend Bird and a person of the name of Brigham from Delaware.
Watson attacked me in a most insolent tone, asked me "how I dared to go
among his settlers and desire them not to pay him his demands on them of
100 dollars for every person that refused to give him that sum, in consequence
of any advice ; that neither the Governor, Government or any individual
had a right to interfere with his private contracts ; that the lands were
assigned to him to settle, and he would show the world that he would make
such bargains as he thought fit and he was not apprehensive of consequences,
as he was certain of the support of an honest jury. His passion increased to
so abusive a strain that I ordered him out of my house, and by that method
got rid of the fellow. McMillan, one of the persons that His Excellency was
pleased to say might remain on the lots which they have occupied for several
years, came to Port Talbot the same day with the money to pay the fees, and
when Watson found that I accepted of them, he swore he would make me
smart for it, if there was justice to be had in the Province. Watson retired to
the house of one of my settlers, from whence he issued me a letter. Copies
of it and of my answer I now enclose. I cannot comprehend his meaning
when he states the ruin of himself and family, unless it is to be inferred by his
not being allowed to realize his speculative system ; neither can I understand
how the three hundred families that he mentions are to suffer and be lost to
the Province, as I cannot conceive it probable that if such families are about
to emigrate into this country that they can make any reasonable demur at
not being charged more than the usual fees for their grants of land from the

Your extraordinary letter, dated the oth inst., would have much surprised
me, had not your violent manner on the preceding day in a great measure
prepared me for its reception. In answer, you are assured from me, that I
have not any intention of complying with your desire of going to Westminster,
to retract the orders intrusted to me, by Government, to promulgate. You are
likewise equally in error if you expect that I will enter the list with you, for
believe me, I value my life too highly to hazard it in your speculations.
Should you further intrude yourself personally upon me with threats, I will
employ the constable to deliver the necessary reply.

Copies of your letter and my answer, together with a statement of the
circumstances that have led to the correspondence, will be forwarded to
Government. I am, sir,


Mr. Simon Zelotes Watson.


IV. Letter Major Halton to Colonel Talbot.

YORK, 1 5th March, 1811.

The Governor having desired your friend, Mr. Sherih Shenich, to call at a
very barbarous hour to-morrow morning I must steal a quarter of an hour
before dinner ready to acknowledge and answer your dispatch brought by
the above named messenger.

First we all rejoice that the most valuable person in the Province was safely
restored to his domestic comforts. Next, His Excellency desires me to say,
he approves entirely of what you have done, and requests you will continue
rigidly to enforce His orders as contained in your letters. I regret very much
the conduct of my friend Zelotes. He seems to be rather more attached to
the concerns of this world than the original person from whence he took his
name. But I suppose it's all fish that come to his net. Mrs. Gore is consid-
erably better and desires her kindest regards. I have nothing new and hope
you have received my letter by Sovereign. He took Mr. Rolph's commission
and put one into his hands, app. Him Surrogate, on which the Beast never
uttered a single word. Should your brother marry into the Hon'ble family
of the Rolphs, will displace Sovereign if you should wish it. To convey to
you everything, that's interesting, I enclose the last York Gazette, to which
I also add the last from Kingston. The Toronto sailed to-day with the
Niagara members. Believe me ever, my dear Colonel, very faithfully


V-. Letter S. Z. Watson to Colonel Talbot.

WESTMINSTER, 22nd March, 1811.

SIR, I have just compleated a true statement of facts relative to the
whole of my proceedings in obtaining lands for myself and followers in this
Province, with an exposition of all my intercourse with you on the subject,
with copies of your letters to me and my remarks thereon, the whole
accompanied with an address to the Lt. Gov'r of this Province ; all which I
mean to lay before His Excell'y ere long, and as all the facts that I have
stated regarding you (every one of which I can and will prove to His Excel-
lency's satisfaction) will bear hard upon you, it therefore highly concerns you
to prevent my laying them before His Majesty's representative (for you will
find him no longer your friend when he is convinced you are not an honest
man) by repairing the serious injuries you have done to me and my settle-
ment. You must be sensible that your late conduct does not merit this or
any other attention from me, but from a retrospective view of your hospitality
and friendship to me when I was a stranger in the Province, has induced me


once more to offer you the hand of friendship under the hope that you will by
your future conduct merit it in atoning- past offences. It gave me real
pleasure to speak honorably of you and exert myself to the utmost in obtain-
ing as many good people as possible to settle and make valuable the country
adjoining and near you, thro' the whole course of my journey of seven
hundred miles in the States and among my friends in Lower Canada, last
summer and autumn, when I thought you the best of men and my real
friend ; and I wish you to be assured that no occurrence of my life has ever
given me such real pain as to be obliged to think otherwise of you. I am
therefore still willing to forget and forgive the serious injuries you have done
me upon the exprinciple that I hope there is yet a latent spark of Honour in
your Soul (which pride and other passions have hitherto kept in a state of
dormantry) which will now be awakened, and induce you to acknowledge
with the immortal Pope that an honest man is the noblest work of God.
Under this hope I am still willing to go hand in hand with you as we had
agreed in pursuing and effecting the laudable and pleasing task of adding to
the strength by augmenting the numbers of His Majesty's Subjects with
thousands of Industries Inhabitants and realize the pleasing anticipation
which I have kept in view from the beginning of co-operating with you in
trying to induce them to be dutiful and loyal as well as useful and industrious

In addressing you as above I have repressed my feelings as an injured
man, and it will depend on your answer by the Bearer whether they will ever
be called into action again. If he returns with a written statement from you
in any way your good sense may dictate, placing me and my settlement in
that favorable and prosperous point of view we were in previous to your last
journey to York and your memorable return via Westminster, well, if not, I
will immediately proceed to York and lay the whole before the Lieut. -Gov'r
and should any unforeseen cause induce His Excellency to decide against
me, that will fix an indelible stain upon your fate and mine. I shall then turn
to you, the primary and ultimate cause of all my misfortunes, my present
enterprise having placed me in a situation that all my present and future
prospects for myself and family must depend upon the event of it. I am
therefore most solemnly and decidedly determined that the only means I will
leave in your power to prevent me from effecting it, will be to deprive me of
life : and the strongest motive that has induced me to send you this, is to put
it in your power to avert a most awful and momentary alternative. Thus I
have made up my mind and await your answer and as it may be, I am, sir,

Y'r Humbl' Serv't,



VI. Draft Memorial of Colonel Talbot re Talbot Road.


The memorial of Thomas Talbot Esq. humbly sheweth :

That your memorialist was authorized by a report of the Honourable, the
Executive Council, approved by His Excellency, the late Lieutenant-Governor
Hunter, in September, 1804, to lay out one thousand dollars, appropriated by
the Legislature for that purpose, on a road marked on a plan annexed to the
above report, by which a better and shorter road to the Westward would be
obtained, to the great advantage of the public.

That, altho' the above sum has been advantageously expended, yet the
distance is so great as yet to require a considerable expense.

Your memorialist, under these circumstances, presumes to offer a plan to
your excellency, which, on a due consideration, he has reason to believe will
effect this desirable purpose without any other than the ordinary aids which
may be hereafter afforded to other districts. Several of the townships
thro" which the intended road is to be made are reserved by the Crown,
and must, in consequence of that reservation, be altogether unproductive and
useless for many years.

Your memorialist, therefore, humbly submits to Your Excellency to grant
lots on each side of this intended road in the same manner as Yonge Street,
the grantees performing their settlement duty before their deeds are issued.

The good effects already experienced by the adoption of this plan will, your
memorialist hopes, induce Your Excellency to pursue it yet further, as it must
greatly add to the value of these reserved townships, and be a powerful means
of gaining a considerable population in a part of the country where there
seems no other means of obtaining it.

VII. Letter President Isaac Brock to Colonel Talbot.

YORK, April 2oth, 1812.

I enclose for your information the report of Council upon the several points
contained in your letter. I regret very much it is not more satisfactory. Not
an idea existed of any survey having been made of the land parallel to Talbot
Road, and no document can be found authorizing that service. You may
probably be possessed of a letter from Governor Gore on the subject, and ir
you can, by any means, make it appear that he was privy and sanctioned the
measure, I still hope the Council may be induced to meet your wishes in every
particular. I do not find that settlers actually occupy any of the new road.
I send a|plan of the country, requesting you to insert the names of the
individuals on the respective lots you have assigned to them. Be assured,


everything in my power shall be done to enable you to fulfill your engage-
ments, being satisfied that however premature you may have been, you acted
from the best motives.

It is impossible to say how government will view the embargo. I imagine
they will allow it to operate quietly, to the ruin of the sorry politicians who
gave it birth. The Duke of Northumberland writes to Selby that strong
reinforcements are ordered to this country. The public papers mention the
same thing, but I hear nothing on the subject officially. Governor Gore has
been actively and successfuly employed in the service of his friends. Claus
and Givens have both an increase to their salaries, Cartwright three thousand
additional acres, etc., etc. Mrs. Gore was very ill ; Halton thought in imminent
danger. The Prince Regent has surprised the world and disgusted his old
friends. I hope Lord Wellington will not be sacrificed. He cannot expect
the unbounded support he was wont to receive from the Marquis.

Believe me,

Dear Colonel,

Yours faithfully,

Colonel Talbot. (Sgd.) ISAAC BROCK,

etc., etc., etc.




/. General order Major-General Sheaffe,
//. Letter Major-General Sheaffe to Colonel Talbot.
III. List of persons who turned out to oppose plunderers at Port

Talbot, etc.
IV. Muster roll and pay list of detachment captured at Sugar


V. List of men on duty at house of Andrew Westbrook.
VI. Memo of provisions issued at Port Talbot ', etc.
VII. Service roll ist Norfolk Militia Regiment.
VIIL " " 2nd "
IX. " " i st Middlesex" "

X. Quarterly return ist Middlesex Militia Regiment.
XI. Alphabetical list of men of Capt. A. A. Rapelje's Companies.
XII. Casualty list Capt. Rapelje's Coy. at Ft. Erie and other

I. General Order of Major- General Sheaffe.

FORT GEORGE, i6th October, 181*.
D. G. O. :

Two-thirds of the whole establishment of the ist and 2nd Norfolk, ist
Oxford and ist Middlesex Regiment of Militia, officered agreeably to former
regulations, are to repair with the greatest possible despatch to the following
points :

ist Norfolk ^

2nd ) Chippew.

ist Oxford \

ist Middlesex / Queen 8 ton

A blanket each is recommended to be brought by each man, and all arms
and ammunition in possession are also to be brought.

COLONEL TALBOT, M. General Comm'g.

Officer Comm'g, etc., etc., etc.

MEM. : Colonel Bostwick will desire that the men required by the fore-
going order shall be marched in by their officers without losing the time that
it would require to wait for orders from Colonel Talbot.
(Sgd) R. H. SHEAFFE,

If. General Comm'g.


II. Extract From Letter From Major- General Sheaffe
to Colonel Talbot.

FORT GEORGE, igth December, 1812.

In consequence of the explanation furnished by you and Lieutenant-Colonel
Nichol, I shall authorize the payment of the sums disallowed in the estimate of
thej 24th September for the pay of the Norfolk, Middlesex, and Oxford

I received dispatches yesterday from Head Quarters to the 6th December.
A superintendent and storekeeper for our dock yard is arrived at Kingston,
a Mr. Plucknett, who has been in one of our dock yards at home.

From one hundred to two hundred shipwrights and thirty seamen are, by
this time, near Kingston. Naval officers and seamen are expected from
Halifax. A frigate and a sloop are to be built on this lake, and another vessel
like the Lady Prevost on Lake Erie. Some gun-boats, with heavy guns, are
to be added to the list, etc., etc.

" Local intelligence I leave to Colonel Bostwick."

III. List of names of the persons "who turned out at a moment's
warning to oppose the plunderers upon hearing that they had
advanced to Port Talbot 2oth May, about 6 o'clock p. m. t
stating some circumstances.

Lt. Col. Burwell

McLemens gave half an hour's notice of their approach.

Neil McNair

John Burwell
Robt. Burwell
David Wallace
George Coltman
Charles Benedict
Benjn. Johnson

Benjn . Wilson, Jun'r, taken away by his father.
Jesse Page

Were all on their way in time to have com-
pleted the destruction of the enemy, but were
turned back by Lt.-Col. Burwell to Neal's place
to wait for a reinforcement, when he was
frustrated in his first plan.

Mark Chase
George Crane
James Chase
Stephen Backus
Walter Story
John Pearce

Page was sent to warn and reports that they
were ready in a moment. Lt.-Col. Burwell saw
some of them since, and is convinced that if he
had not been deprived of Ben Willson, would
have formed a junction with him before dark.

Captain Willson made prisoner at the mill.

Captain Patterson do at B. Smith's shop.

Walter Galbraith do at the mill.

Thomas Matthews do on his way to oppose the enemy.



Timothy Neal
B. Swisher
O. Pettit
K. Neville
Jno. Neville
M. Cowell
A. Ross

When Lt.-Col. Burwell was defeated in his
first plan, he halted those above mentioned,
whom he met on their march, until he could have
time to bring these forward to act with them,
but it was too late, being break of day when
they arrived at Town Line.

These were all at Ross's by % past 10 in the
morning of the zist, but hearing that the enemy
bad retreated and that Lt.-Col. Burwell's party
was dismissed, they returned to their homes.

Wm. Johnson sent to Mr.Rapelje in the night with a verbal acct.of the alarm.

Mr. Daniel Rapelje
Ensign B. Willson
James Nevills
Jeronimus Rapelje
George Rapelje
Thomas Curtis
Wm. P. Shaff
Jen Cranmer
Henry Mandeville
Samuel York
William Lee
JohnW. Clark
William Toles
George Lawrence
Archie McNeal
Justus Wilcojt
Finlay Grant
David Everitt
Henry Ramsey
John Caesar

Captain Secord
Lt. Rice
William Rice
William Peter Secoed

George Wood
James Stokes
Frederick Efeland
Henry House
William Gregory
William Wilcox
David Brush
James Brown
John Marlatt

Total 59 men.

Captain Secord got the intelligence by mere
chance on the morning of the 2ist. He, how-
ever spread the alarm immediately, and arrived
at Mr. Rapelje's with these men at 12 o'clock.



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V. A list of the men on duty at the house of Andrew Westbrook, in
Delaware, from the twenty-seventh January to the first
February, 1814, under the command of Captain Daniel
Springer :

i Benjamin Schram, Sergeant 6 John Davy,

3 Joseph House, Sergeant 7 Joshua Chamberling,

1 William Dingman, Private 8 John Crandell,

2 Lawrence Dingman, 9 Frederick Shenich,

3 William Schram, 10 Samuel Stiles,

4 David Dingman, 1 1 Frederick Shoback.

5 John McClemings,

London District : Personally appeared before me, Thomas Bowlsby, Esquire,
one of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace in and for the said district, Benjamin
Schram, Sergeant in the ist Regiment Middlesex Militia, who, being duly
sworn, maketh oath and saith that the persons above stated was actually on
duty at the house of Andrew Westbrook, in Delaware, on or about the first
day of February last, under the command of Captain Daniel Springer.

Sworn before me 2 3 rd | (Sgd.) BENJAMIN SCHRAM.

day of November, 1814. / Sergeant ist Middlesex Militia.


VI Memorandum of Provisions issued at Port Talbot for Detach-
ments of the Middlesex and Essex Militia stationed at and in
advance of Port Talbot.

From 25th October to 24th November, 1813.
i Colonel 4 Rations, i Captain, 25 Privates.

From 25th November to 24th December, 1813.
i Colonel, i Captain, 2 Subalterns, 70 Privates, 3 Women, 6 Children.

From 25th December, 1813, to 24th January, 1814.
i Colonel 4, i Captain, 30 Privates, 3 Women, 6 Children.

From 25th January to 24th February, 1814.
i Colonel 4 Rations, i Captain, 23 Privates, 3 Women, 6 Children.

From 25th February to 24th March, 1814.

i Colonel 4 Rations, 2 Captains, 2 Subalterns, 63 Privates, 3 Women, 6

From 25th March to 24th April, 1814.

i Colonel 4 Rations, i Captain, i Subaltern, 35 Privates, 3 Women, 6



N. B. Rations were field rations in pork and flour

Women's Names
Margaret Craford

Mary Crawford
Elizabeth Mitchell


Thomas Craford
Magnus Craford
John Mitchell
William Mitchell
Jane Mitchell
Mary Mitchell

VII. Service Roll ist Norfolk Militia, Compiled by
Colonel Talbot.

Periods of service for allowances due to the militia actually on duty in the
District of London between 3oth June, 1812, and 24th December, 1814, both
days inclusive :



Periods of Service

No. of Months



Lieut.-Colonel . .

oseph Ryerson . . .

2 5 Se P t.,i8i 3

4 Nov., 1814



,Vm. D. Bowen . . .

25 July, 1812

4 Nov., "14

17 2-7O


ohn Bostwick ....

3 July, '12

4 Dec., '14

1 / ^ o u
19 4-30


Daniel McCall

3 Sept., '12

24 Nov., '14



Oliver Mabee

25 Sept., '13

24 Nov., '14


Captain ..

Duncan McCall.. . .

1 8 June, '13

24 Nov., *ij

Captain .. . .

[ohn Backhouse . . .

2C Sept., '11

24 Nov., "ij


fames Mitchell .

*J JCpt.j ij

[7 AufiT., *I2

24 Nov., *id


Lieutenant ....

"ieorge Ryerson. . .

13 July, '12

24 May, '13

9 16-30


jeorge Rolph

30 June, '12

24 Nov., '14

!3 4-3


William Smith

22 July, '12

24 Nov., '14

i 14-30

Lieutenant ....

William Dill

25 Sept., '13

24 July, '14

4 4-3


John Dedrick

25 Sept., '13

24 Nov., 'i/



James McCall

13 July, '12

24 Nov., '14

6 8-30


Samuel Ryerson . .
Samuel Ryerson . . .

17 Aug., '12
25 Sept., '13

14 Mar., V
24 Nov., 'K

} 9 20-30


Jacob Potts
Jacob Potts

31 Aug., '12
25 Sept., '13

12 Sept., '12
24 Nov., "ii

} 5 8-30


Aquilla Walsh

25 Sept., '13

24 Nov., 'i<



Francis Glover. . . .

!3J ul y> '12

24 Nov., 'i<

5 2 3-3


Romaine Rolph . .

25 Sept., '13

24 Nov., 'n

6 17-30


Mathew Tisdale . .

22 Augf. 'l '

24 Nov. '1^

6 1-70


Thomas Backhouse

23 Aug., '12

24 Nov., 'i<

u O O u

9 3-30


Samuel Tisdale...

25 Oct., '14

24 Dec., 'i,


Qr. Master

Francis L. Walsh.

25 Sept., '13

24 Nov., 'i.


NOTE. Only the first and last dates of service are reproduced here. In
the original the intervening dates, showing the several broken periods of
service of each officer, are given. These, for the sake of brevity, are



omitted, the total length of service in each case appearing 1 in the " months "
column. Lieutenant Geo. Rolph appears to have been the first officer placed
on duty in this regiment, and Captain John Bostwick to have served the
longest total period, Major Bowen being next. The periods of service of
non-coms, and men are omitted, as no names appear and a summary has
already been given, Ante p. 68.

VIII, Service Roll, 2nd Norfolk Regiment, Compiled by
Colonel Talbot.

Periods of service for allowances due to the militia officers of the Second
Norfolk Regiment actually on duty in the District of London, between
the 28th pay of June, 1812, and the 24th day of December, 1814, both days
inclusive :



Periods of Service




George C. Salmon.
Samuel Ryerse ....
William Park
William Drake....
W T m. McCracken..
William Robinson..
Henry Medcalf. . . .
Daniel Ross
John Rolph
Jonathan Austin. . .
Nathaniel White. . .

13 July. 1812

21 Oct., '12

25 May, '13
25 April, '14
13 July, '12
25 Sept., '13
2 Jan., '14
28 June, '12
25 Sept., '13

21 Oct., '12

7 July, '12
13 July, '12
i July, '12
7 May, '13
25 Sept., '13
30 June, '12
25 Sept., '13

22 Oct., '12

3 July, '12
i Sept., '12
25 Sept., '13
25 Sept., '13
25 April, '14
25 April, '14
25 April, '14
25 April, '14
3 July, '12
25 Sept., '13
25 Oct., '14
4 July, '12

24 Dec., 181

24 July, '\i
24 Nov., 'i<
24 Nov., 'i<
24 Aug., 'i<
24 Nov., 'i<
24 Dec., 'it
24 Sept., '13
24 Dec., '14
24 Nov., '14
21 Dec., '12
24 Dec., '14
14 July, 'ia
2 Jan., '14
24 Nov., '14
24 Nov., "14
24 Nov., '14
24 May, '13
6 April, '13
23 Dec.. '12
24 Nov., '14
24 Nov., '14
24 Nov., '14
24 July, '14
24 Nov., "14
24 Nov., '14
24 Sept., '13
24 Dec., '14
24 Nov., "14
24 Feb., '14

12 12-30

6 11-30


ii 11-30
5 9-30
ii 23-30
14 26-30

14 11-30
4 3-30
17 20-30
7 6-30
6 18-30
8 2-30
7 8-30
6 22-30
7 18-30
2 15-3
6 27-30
5 9-30
5 18-30

1 8 8-30
9 26-30

4 24-30

Captain ,. ,


Titus Williams
William Robinson..
Henry Medcalf. . . .
Isaac Gilbert
Benjamin Mead . . .
McFarlane Wilson .
Abrah'm A. Rapelje
Isaac Gilbert
VIcFarlane Wilson .
facob Lemon
Abraham Messecar
Thomas Francis . . .
fohn Conrad
'ames McQueen. . .
Dennis Shoaf
iVilliam Gordon . . .
.Villiam Gordon.. .
jeorge Ryerse ....
Albert Berdan

Qr. Master. . . .



NOTE. For brevity's sake, only the first and last dates of service are
reproduced the total length of service, made up of broken periods, in
each case being- shown. As no names of non-coms, or men appear, the
statement of their numbers and periods of service summarized ante p. 68
is omitted.

IX. Service roll ist Middlesex Militia, compiled by Colonel Talbot.

Periods of service for allowances due to the militia officers of the ist Middle-
sex Regiment actually on duty in the District of London between the 28th day
of June, 1812, and the 24th day of December, 1814, both days inclusive.



Periods of Service





Thomas Talbot
Vlahlon Burwell

28 June, 1812
10 July, '12
4 Aug., '12
2 Aug., '12
10 July, "12
10 July, "12
25 May, '14
30 July, '12
10 July, '12
23 Oct., '12
15 Feb., ' 3
25 Aug., ' 3
10 July, ' 2
25 April, ' 4
25 May, ' 4
25 March, ' 4
4 Aug., ' 2
25 Aug., ' 3
25 March, ' L

24 Dec.,
16 Aug ,

24 Nov ,
24 Nov ,
24 Dec ,
24 Nov ,
24 Nov ,
24 Nov.,
24 Nov.,
24 Nov.,
24 Sept.
24 Nov.,
24 Nov.,
24 Nov.,
24 July,
24 Dec.,
23 Dec.,
24 Sept.
24 Oct.,

' 4
' 4
' 4
' 4
' ^



29 27-30
6 22-30
8 16-30

9 5-3
17 22-30

4 25-3
8 17-30
7 i-30
10 11-30
i 28-30

10 28-30


2 17-30



Daniel Springer...
Leslie Patterson . . .
Oilman Wilson
Daniel Rapelje....
William Bird
Moses Rice
William Saxton
Samuel Axford
Joseph Defield
Benjamin Wilson..
James Nevill
Sylvanus Reynolds
Nicholas Lytle
Samuel Harris
Daniel Mclntyre. . .
Prideaux Girty. . . .




NOTE. For brevity's sake only the first and last dates of services are
reproduced here, the total length of service appearing opposite each officer's
name. No names of non-coms, or privates appear. See ante page 68 for
summary of numbers and length of service.



If ? E g

r If I I

if.4 I i

? S w
t s

p l



II- 1

> ^-- t^ U5 3 g ^

I fflli

8 W 1- ? I f S

Mil ?i - 3

I v 3 - S 1

_ 3 g. 5 CO

w^ - B!


? ^i

Sr ^ "

n D. 3



w /David Secord. .
.S Daniel Springer
31 Oilman Wilson .
e Leslie Patterson
u {.Samuel Edison




: : : : : : : :














Assist. Surgeon





<3 &K t S^J




Number of
Stands of Arms


No. of Pounds
Ball Cartridge






i-i 1





XL Extracts from book kept by A. A. Rapelje, Captain of First
Flank Company, Second Regiment, Norfolk Militia and of A
Company of the Incorporated Militia.

Names in muster rolls and other memoranda referring to his command,
commencing- 22nd October, 1812, and including the members of his incor-
porated company at York, I3th February, 1814, (extracted and arranged
alphabetically from his note-book now in possession of his grand-daughter,
Miss Agnes Taylor, Hamilton, Ont.) :

Alward, Ruben
Adams, Evi
Anderson, Anthony
Acre, Peter
Archibald, A.
Butler, John
Berdan, Jacob
Berdan, Albert
Berdan, Daniel
Bennett, John (drummer)
Burns, David
Berber, Elisha
Beers, John
Broughton, Asa
Colton, James
Conrod, David
Conrod, John
Cruson, Michael
Cherie, Leon
Cornwall, William
Cram, David
Chambers, James
Curtis, Daniel
Canaday, James
Chambers, Robert
Collard, Stephen
Collard, E. (Sergeant)
Chisholm, Sergeant
Cronk, John
Cronk, William
Crisel, Michael
Cole, John
Cronk, William

Drake, Richard

Dedrick, Christian

Ducher, John

Disbrow, Israel R.

Dougall, William

Drake, John

Durham, E., (Corporal and Sergeant)

Emmins, John

Fuller, Daniel

Gilmore, Samuel

Gilbert, Isaac (Ensign)

Glover, Charles

Garvin, Hugh

Garton, Richard

Haviland, Benj. (Sergeant)

Hannon, Charles

Hogadone, Peter

Horton, Peter

Harris, Samuel

Hull, Richard

Hinchey, John

Jewell, James

Jackson, John

Kelly, Andrew

Lemon, Alexander

Lemon, James

Logan, Edward (Sergeant Inc. Co.)

Lampman, John (Ensign)

Lutts, Z.

Layman, Peter

Loder, Joseph

Mabee, Simon

Medcalf, Henry (Sergeant)


Mathews, John
Messenger, Silas
Mathews, Philip
Messecar, Abram
Millard, Dan
Messecar, Job
Mabee, Pinkney
Marr, Richard
Mathews, George
Millard, John
Mericle, Benjamin
Millard, Jason
Menickee, Cornelius
Markel, (Corporal)

Montross, A.
Meriele, B.
McQueen, James
McLean, Samuel
McKay, Daniel
Nelles, Abraham
Nonimaker, Jacob
Philips, Ensign

Shearer, John

Samon, Peter

Sovereign, John

Shoaf, Michael

Slaght, John

Stagment, John

Smally, Ralph

Smally, Erastus

Smith, Samuel

Scram, E.

Troup, Samuel

Thompson, John (Sergeant)

Taylor. Rich.

Taylor, Bert

Urquhart, Edward


Vollack, John

Vanfalkenburgh, John

Woodley, Mathias

Williams, Titus (Lieutenant)

Williams, Benjamin (Sergeant)

Wyckoff, John

Williams, Elijah


Winance, John

Winter, Asa

Parker, Samuel
Rapelje, A. A. (Captain
Rikeman, James

Ryerson, George (Lieutenant) Inc. Co. Williams, Samuel

Robertson, Amon Woolley, Peter

Robertson, Seth Wintermoot, C.

Robins, Joseph Wideman, P.

Shoaf, Jacob Wood, Joseph

Sleight, Cornelius Wickham, Samuel

Sergeant, Geo. York, Silas (Corporal)

Simmons, David Younglove, David

Sells, William Zobriskie, George
Summerfield, Charles

Those whose names follow joined the artillery on the 23rd November,
1812 :

i Richard Drake
2 John Butler
3 Elijah Williams
4 Evi Adams
5 Albert Berdan

6 George Sergent
7 Henry Medcalf
8 Pinkney Mabee
9 James Mathews
10 Jacob Berdan


XII. Memoranda and casualty list of Captain A. A. Rapelje's
Company at Fort Erie from his original note-book, now the
property of his grand-daughter, Miss Agnes Taylor.

FORT ERIE, November 28th, 1812.

The Americans came over with a large number of boats ; by examination
of a prisoner we took, says they (the Americans) could not collect more than
3,000 men on the frontier. That 800 or 1,000 attempted to land on the 2 8th
inst., at 2 o'clock a. m., but could not effect their purpose, and they suffered
severely by the brave few that opposed them, who were weighty but few in
number in comparison to the Americans who made the best of their way back
with their shattered boats, after leaving a number dead and some prisoners,
perhaps 50.

List of killed, wounded and missing belonging to Captain A. Rapelje's
Company, on the 28th November, at Fort Erie :

i John Wyckoff killed

2 John Bonnet wounded

3 David Conrod "

4 John Conrod "

5 Ruben Allward "

6 Michael Croson "

7 James McQueen "

8 John Mathews "

i John Butler missing

2 Mathias Woodley "

3 William Sells

4 Samuel Troup "


Beef Quantity received 740 Ibs.

Nov. ist Beef issued one day ration for 42 men, 42 Ibs.
Nov. 2nd Beef issued one day ration for 42 men, 42 Ibs.
Nov. 3rd Beef issued two-day ration for 114 men, including Captain Bost-

wick and Lieutenant Brigham Company, 228 Ibs. beef.
Nov. 4th None.

Nov. 5th Beef issued for two days, including all the Company, excepting
Captain Bostwick, which only received one, 183 Ibs. beef.

Men present, invalids included, 28 rank and file.

" I returned from Long Point to Burlington October agth, 1813, and joined
the Company at Stoney Creek that night."

" Left camp igth August, 1814, in consequence of sickness and staid at
Mrs. Overholt's."


On the 25th July, 1814.

The Americans, near Niagara Falls, Lundy's Lane, with their whole force
engaged General Ryall's army, consisting of about 2,500 men. In the last
only the 8gth Glengarians of the Incorporated Militia were engaged for nearly
two hours before they were reinforced, and then the Americans were repulsed
with great slaughter. The loss but trifling on our part, on hill, but many
wounded with buckshot.

September 4th, 1814.

The Americans came out from Fort Erie and attacked our batteries and
were repulsed with considerable loss, the loss on our part but trifling.



/. Petitions of Colonel Talbot to Committee of Loyal and
Patriotic Society, with return of property destroyed in
Norfolk in May, 1814.

II. Petition of Colonel Talbot to Loyal and Patriotic Society,
with list of persons plundered at and near Port Talbot.
III. Extracts from report of Loyal and Patriotic Society.
IV. Letter from Colonel Talbot to Chief Justice Scott as to Raids

on Port Talbot, etc.
V. Petition of Colonel Talbot to Loyal and Patriotic Society

with further list of sufferers along Talbot Road.
VI. List of Persons plundered in. Norfolk by Me Arthur's Forces.

I. Petitions of Colonel Talbot to Committee of Loyal and Patriotic
Society, -with return of property destroyed in Norfolk in May,


LONG POINT, ist June, 1814.

In compliance with the wishes of the Committee appointed for the distribu-
tion of the sum of money appropriated by the Legislature of Nova Scotia
toward the relief of the sufferers by the war in this Province, I have the
honour to transmit to you, for their consideration, a return of the los
sustained by the inhabitants of the County of Norfolk when the enemy landed
at Dover. I will, at all times, feel extreme pleasure in executing the
nstructions of the committee.


A return of property destroyed by the Americans at Long Point, County of
Norfolk, District of London, U. C., on isth and i6th of May, 1814.



Robert Nichol, 2 houses, 2 barns, i grist mill, i saw mill, i

distillery 5000

Daniel McQueen, 2 houses, 2 barns 517

Peter Walker 8

James Wattles, house, etc 77 10

Samuel Williams 125

Francis 17 10

Abraham Rapelje, house, etc 1 12 10

Mathias Steele 73 3

William Drake, horse, etc 4J9

Nathan Mann, house 25

Edward Landon, i a

Isaac Olds 50

Benjamin Meade, 2 houses, 2 barns, tannery 568 10

Wynent Williams, house, barn, etc 881 5

Jonathan Williams, house, barn, etc 657 10

Henry Bostwick, house, barn, and office ; in charge of Henry

Bostwick, house and barn, Robert Henderson 12 10


Sarah Ryerse, house, mill, and distillery 2500

Daniel Ross 37 10

Henry Medcalf 300 oo


Titus Finch, house, barn, saw and grist mills, and distillery 530

Silas Montross, 2 houses and barn 571 2

William Dunmeade 25

William Harrington, barn 135

//. Petition of Colonel Talbot to Loyal and Patriotic Society, with
list of persons plundered at and near Port Talbot.

Colonel Talbot has the honour of stating to the Loyal and Patriotic Society
that on the sixteenth of last month the enemy, amounting to upwards of 100
men, composed of Indians and Americans painted and disguised as the former,
surprised the settlement of Port Talbot, where they committed the most wanton
and atrocious acts of violence by robbing the undermentioned fifty heads of
families of all their horses and every particle of wearing apparel and house-
hold furniture, leaving the sufferers naked and in the most wretched state.


1 Samuel Mclntyre, a wife, both between 60 and 70 years of age.

2 Daniel Mclntyre, a wife and one child.

3 John Philpot, a wife and two children.

4 Ira Gilbert, a wife and three children.

5 John Axford, a wife and five children.

6 Samuel Axford, a wife and four children.

7 William Brooks, a wife and seven children.

8 William Johnson, a wife and two children.

9 Henry Barger.

10 John Caddy, a wife and two children.

1 1 Samuel Guernsey, a wife and three children.

12 Samuel Brotherhood, a wife and two children.

13 John Barber, a wife and two children.

14 John Mitchell, a wife and six children.

15 Mahlon Burwell Esq., a wife and two children.

1 6 Leslie Patterson, a wife and four children.

17 Alexander Wilkinson, a wife and two children.

1 8 James Wilkinson, single.

19 John Fulman, a wife and nine children.

20 Nathan Aldwin "\

21 Robert Burwell Wounded at the battle

22 Samuel Burwell j of

23 Joseph Phillips J Lundy'sLane.

24 James Burwell, a wife and eleven children.

25 John Cook, single.

26 Charles Benedict, single.

27 Walter Galbraith, single.

28 Gilman Wilson, a wife and eight children.

29 Jesse Page, a wife and six children.

30 Mark Chase, a wife and eleven children.

31 John Quick, a wife and two children.

32 John Parker, a wife and four children.

33 Thomas Matthews, a wife and one child.

34 Thomas Henley, a wife ; both between 60 and 70 years of age.

35 George Crane, a wife and six children.

36 Enoch Huntley, a wife and four children.

37 Dute Underwood, a wife and five children.

38 Elijah Goff, a wife and six children.

39 Jarvis Phair, a wife and five children.

40 John Carsin, a wife and three children.

41 Mary Story, a widow, 60 years of age.

42 Walter Story, single.

43 Stephen Backus, a wife and two children.

44 John , a wife and seven children.


45 James Scares, a wife and three children.

46 John Crawford, a wife and one child.

47 Samuel Crawford, single.

48 Nicholas Lytle, single.

49 Prideaux Girty, single.

50 Richard McCardy, four children.

YORK, 2nd September, 1814.

(From report of Loyal and Patriotic Society, pp 384 387.)

///. Extract from Report of Loyal and Patriotic Society.

This gentleman, a member of the House of Assembly, Lieutenant-Colonel
of Militia, was active against the enemy on all occasions and became odious
to them. At night they made a sudden incursion on the Talbot settlement,
found him in bed ill of the ague, and dragged him, without hat or coat, away
to Detroit, a prisoner, and from thence to Kentucky, where he remained many
weeks, his house having been burnt and all property destroyed, and his
amily driven off. The Society, on Colonel Burwell's return, requested his
acceptance as a mark of regard. P. 237.


This gentleman had been active during the war, and was marked out for
plunder and depredation. From the greatness of his losses the Society was
induced to order him 60. P. 245.


Captain Springer exerted himself in defending the Province by actively
performing his duty on all occasions. He therefore became, as usual,
extremely obnoxious to the enemy and the disaffected, a party of whom seized
him on the ist February, 1814, and after binding him, took his own horses
and sleigh and, placing him in it, carried him to Kentucky. Shortly after his
departure his family was obliged to remove to the Grand River. He returned
in time to share in the glory of the battle of the Falls. P. 247.

Swain Corliss, of the London District, appeared before the Society and
stated that he was severely wounded in a skirmish at Malcolm's Mills with
General McArthur's troops, and left on the field and stripped ; he has lost the
use of his left arm in a great degree, had seventeen balls that pierced his
shirt, seven balls entered his body, three of which still remain in it ; he has a
wife and seven children.


In consideration of his sufferings and services, the Society vote him fifty
pounds, which, with the ten pounds already received, make the whole
donation sixty pounds.

(Report of Loyal and Patriotic Society, pp. 184 5.)

IV. Letter from Colonel Talbot to Chief Justice Scott as to Raids
on Port Talbot, etc.

ANCASTER, 24th October, 1815.

Your kindness to my representations when I was last at York induces me
to repeat my petitions to your honourable board.

The vagabond enemy, not being satisfied with the plunder they carried off
from Port Talbot on the i6th August, returned in greater force about the
middle of September, when they burnt my mills and other buildings, destroyed
all my flour and killed my sheep, etc. Poor Burwell's house and barn were
likewise sacrificed, thence the enemy extended their violence down my road
fifteen miles. Enclosed is my statement, which I trust may call forth the
bounty of the Society, as nothing can exceed the deplorable condition of that
part of the Province. My mills having been burnt, the farmers will be obliged
to take their grain at least 120 miles to have it ground , the expenses attend-
ing the transport in these hard times will be heavy indeed. I am considerably
alarmed for the fate of the sum the Society granted me before, as we have
this moment learned that ten boats have been captured by the enemy near the
Bay of Quinte, and Mr.Hatt, who was kind enough to procure the clothing at
Montreal for my poor people, is of opinion that my things were in the above
boats. Mr. Ralph [Rolph ?], who is going to York, will take charge of any
assistance which the Society may please to afford.

The arrival of our fleet at Fort George, I hope, will ensure quiet to us at
least for the winter.

The American and European accounts hold out no great expectations of a.
speedy conclusion to the war.

God preserve us from greater evils than we have already suffered.

Believe, my dear sir, always most sincerely,


The Honourable Mr. Chief Justice Scott.

V. Petition of Colonel Talbot to Royal and Patriotic Society with
further list of sufferers along Talbot Road.

The accumulated distresses of the inhabitants of the County of Middlesex
since the third of September last compels Colonel Talbot again to implore the


benevolent aid of the Loyal and Patriotic Society towards the relief of the
undermentioned persons, who have been robbed by their ferocious enemy,
who returned to Port Talbot about the 2Oth of September, burnt the mills and
other buildings belonging to Colonel Talbot, together with the houses and
barns of Colonel Burwell and several others, thence extending their depreda-
tions sixteen miles down Talbot Road, taking all the horses and pilliaging the
houses of every article of clothing, and destroying such furniture as could not
be conveniently carried off.

List of the sufferers furnished by Colonel Talbot :

1 Alexander Ross, a wife and five children.

2 Neil McNeal, a wife and two children.

3 Timothy Neal, single.

4 Richard Barrett, single.

5 Jeremiah Cranmer, mother 70 years of age.

6 Henry Ramey, single.

7 William Shaff, single.

8 David Mandeville, a wife and seven children.

9 David [Daniel?] Rapelje, a wife and nine children.

10 Garrett Smith, a wife and four children.

11 Thomas Curtis, a wife and six children.

12 Archibald McNeal, a wife and two children.

13 George Lawrence, a wife and three children.

14 William Lee, a wife and eight children.

15 George Clark, a wife and four children.

16 Benjamin Wilson, a wife.

17 John Davis, a wife and four children.

18 Joseph Mann, a wife and five children.

19 William Toles, a wife and seven children.

20 Hosker Lee.

21 Jeremiah Rapelje.

22 George Rapelje.

23 Justus Wilcox, a wife and six children.

24 James Neville, a wife and two children.

25 Margaret Peace, a widow, and four children.

26 John Brae, a wife and three children.

27 Finlay Grant, single.


ANCASTER, 24th October, 1814.

(From the report of the Loyal and Patriotic Society of Upper Canada,

Montreal. Printed by William Gray, 1817.)


VI. List of Persons of the County of Norfolk, plundered by the

Americans under General Me Arthur, in the month of

November, 1814.

s. d s. d

1 James Crane 60 10 o 13 Aaron Collver 31 50

2 James Brown 36 o o 14 John Collver 6 15 o

3 Jacob Byard 31 150 15 John Davis 1000 oo

4 Jacob Crane. 35 26 16 Morris and Leonard

Sovereen 1750 o o

5 Samuel Brown ....... 39 150 17 Joseph Wooley 44 o o

6 Noah Fairchild 50 50 18 Levi Douglas 20 o o

7 Joseph Boughner 700 19 William Bird 24 o o

8 Thomas Shippey 660 20 E. Woodruff 20 o o

9 Philip Wilson 15 19 5 21 E. Woodruff and A.

Collver 1700 o o

10 Martin Boughner 12 o o 22 Leonard Sovereign... 149 o o

11 Ephriam C. Mitchell.. 27 2 6 23 John Robins 213 o o

12 James 66 16 o 24 Shearman Hyde 45 o o

(Report of Loyal and Patriotic Society, pp. 387 8.)



/. Letter Colonel Talbot to Major Salmon.
II. Letter of Dr. John Ralph announcing death of his father.
///. " " " " respecting " The Talbot Dis-

pensatory. "
IV. Advertisement of Medical School at St. Thomas from

' ' Colonial Advocate. "

V. Letter Sir Peregrine Maitland to Colonel Talbot.
VI. Address to Lieut. -Governor Maitland from inhabitants of
Talbot Settlement and reply.

I. Letter Colonel Talbot to Major Salmon.

YORK, 4th February, 1815.

It is possible that this may reach you before a letter which I addressed to
you yesterday and sent by an Indian express. I did not then expect to leave


York for some days, but Sir James Yeo, who accompanied me from Kingston,
proposed to me yesterday after dinner to go to Long Point with him. We
set out to-morrow morning, and perhaps may reach Hatt's the same day, but
I am doubtful, as Drake's horses are not the spriest and somewhat fagged.
We will not remain more than one night at Ancaster, and thence it is the
knight's intention to favour you and Mrs. Salmon with a visit.

General Drummond has been good enough to send this by express, so that
we may not surprise you. Sir James will have but one attendant his ist
Lieutenant, Mr. Scott. I long to see you all again. With kind regards to
Mrs. Salmon and George and Bill,

Yours truly,

H. M. Service,
To Major Salmon,

and Norfolk Militia, Long Point.

//. Letter of John Rolph, announcing his father's death.

Monday Morning.

You will, I am sure, in a degree participate the sorrow I feel in a very
great loss wh. we have so recently sustained. Independent, my dear sir,
of those feelings wh. nature has implanted and education improved, a family
of such extent as ours must necessarily feel the privation with peculiar severity.
I am obliged to you for the concern you expressed for his illness and lament
that it must extend to his death. At present I scarcely know my own feelings,
for the last and highest duty I can perform to so valuable a friend is to check
ray own feelings and direct my exertion for the comforting a disconsolate
mother and to protect those in the crisis about to happen who are unable to
protect themselves. My father seemed quite unconscious of his approaching
dissolution. He expired on the sofa and sunk, as he thought, into sleep. It is, I
assure you, not a trifling consolation to me that he died with so much ease
and without those distressing reflections which a father must experience when
about to leave such a retinue behind. Had he lived his life would have been
very unhappy during the troublesome times we shall probably witness. He is
now much happier, and I even sometimes hope He may occasionally glance
upon us from Heaven and smile upon a more fortunate issue than the aspect
of affairs will allow us to anticipate.

The inclosed letter is the last He wrote and was omitted in the last dispatch
to you. I have kept it sacred and send you a Relic wh. I wd. willingly have
preserved myself.


Excuse my dear sir, from sendg you the particulars you requested. When
the awful ceremonies of to-morrow are over, I shall be better able to attend
to such duties.

With great Respect believe me Dr Sir

Yours obliged & truly


The Hon. Thos.

Talbot, &c. &c. &c. My brother has just arrived from York to follow

Port Talbot. my father with me to the grave. He desires his

respects to you.

///. Letter of J. Ralph re " The St. Thomas Dispensatory"

Dr. Buncombe and myself are modestly recommended as the Teachers and
Lecturers :

Everything that is great and useful should begin in the Talbot Settlement
under your auspices. It was proposed by Dr. Duncombe more than a year
ago, to form an institution at the city of St. Thomas for the instruction of
candidates in medicine and surgery. No school of that description has yet
been formed in any part of the Province nor is the hospital at York ever likely
under its sleepy patrons to become a source of public usefulness.

We propose to call it "the Talbot Dispensatory." The Honble. Col.
Talbot to be its perpetual Patron with visitorial Power. Colonel Burwell
President, without such power, with privileges ascertained by the by-laws,
and Captain Matthews and Col. Backhouse Vice Presidents so that there may
be evidently nothing of a political nature in it and I hope you are sufficiently
acquainted with the State of public feeling, to be satisfied of my engaging in
nothing with the mere view of conciliating the further favour of your settle-
ment Col. Hamilton Treasurer, and Col. Bostwick Secretary.

A committee to examine the funds and state of cleanliness of the institution.

John Warren, Ira Scofield, Joseph Defields, J. C. Goodhue, Shaw,

James Nevills, J. Smith and W. Philan.

Advice to be given once a week at the dispensatory, gratis, wh. judging
from my daily habits, will be much frequented and an exact Registry to be
kept and submitted to the Committee and everything open, of course, in an
unlimited manner to your visitorial power.

Dr. Duncombe and myself will join our Libraries for the institution, wh. I
am satisfied, will exceed very far, any in this or sister Province. To it we
will add other valuable works and periodical publications. To these I
shall add the anatomical preparations, wh. were the work of my own Labor,
when a pupil of Sir Astley Cooper's.

This institution, like the Talbot anniversary, will, under your patronage, be
supported with equal zeal.


In naming the above appointments, you are requested to regard it as a
suggestion, it being understood that all nominations shall emanate from you.
It is further hoped you will consider St. Thomas's as the most proper place.
There will be about 12 pupils to begin with.

The committee presidents are to be for the future annually elected by
subscribers. During the concourse of the election under your patronage and
the conjunction of all the candidates, it is thought we can commence with
advantage, give an impulse to public feeling on the subject, and receive
annual subscriptions as a bushel of produce. The introductory Lectures
might then be given with advantage in Public.

Dr. Duncombe will call upon you to learn your pleasure on the subject.
There are many arrangements as to the nature of the Lectures wh. cannot
be well suggested in this letter.

I have the honor to be, my

(addressed on the back) dear sir

To Yonr most faithful servant

The Honble. JOHN ROLPH.

Col. f albot

Port Talbot.

IV. From Colonial Advocate, Aug. 19, 1824, Advertisement.


St. Thomas,



\JOTICE is hereby given that a Medical School is
^ opened at St. Thomas, in the Talbot Settlement,
under the direction of CHARLES DUNCOMB, Esquire,
Licentiate, and the immediate patronage of The
Honourable Colonel Talbot, where the Education of
young- men for the profession of MEDICINE AND
SURGERY will be carefully superintended, and every
opportunity afforded them to become intimately
acquainted with the structure and physiology of the
human body.

Every student before admission is expected to have
a complete knowledge of the LATIN language, or to
give satisfactory assurances of immediately acquir-
ing it ; for which purpose A COMPETENT TEACHER
will be resident in the village.

will give a course of LECTURES ON THE THEORY AND


is expected to give the first course of LECTURES AND
DEMONSTRATIONS, during the ensuing season, on
St. Thomas, August 5, 1824. 6wn


V. Letter Sir P. Maitland to Colonel Talbot.


Taking pity on your desolate situation, I take upon to let you know
what is going- on in this -world and first and foremost you shall hear of the
departure of Lady Sarah and the children to Stamford. I took them over on
Monday and had the pleasure of their society on the lake for 22 hours. I
kicked your friend Wardlaw out of bed at 6 in the morning and was saluted
with "Monstrous what brought you here." I left them at the cottage at
three the same evening. Lady Sarah though a good deal fagged is not I
hope the worse for the journey. Gordon I saw at the mess. He made
tender enquires after you Sir Thomas. He is in the Sergeant Major's hands
and is not yet disgusted.

Captain Franklin and his artics arrived here the other day, they are all
gone with the exception of Back who is left behind. I am told they are all
as fat as butter, which I think an advantage for more reasons than one.

The Lords Commissioners still talk about getting away in three weeks, this
a favourite space of time with them as they have from the very first been
going in three weeks. They are in great want of a Knightly President.

I had a letter from Arthur yesterday. He says he is coming early in the
Spring, and is much pleased with our projected journey to Port Talbot.

How often has the faithful Jeffry had to put you to bed ? If you got to
Salmon's on the night of the storm I have no doubt you wanted a little
assistance in that way. Hillier is coming to bother me.


VI. Extract from Upper Canada Gazette, October 22, 1818.

On the evening of the 2Sih ulto. His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor
and suite, accompanied by Col. Talbot, arrived at Port Talbot, and on the
26th, at 1 1 o'clock a. m., about three hundred of the inhabitants waited
on His Excellency with the following address :

To His Excellency Sir Peregrine Maitland) K. C. B., Lieutenant-Governor
of Upper Canada, Major-General Commanding His Majesty's Forces
therein, etc., etc., etc. :


WE, His Majesty's dutiful and loyal subjects, inhabitants of the Talbot
country, highly gratified with the condescension of your Excellency in visiting
this infant but flourishing settlement, consider it as a duty which we owe to you


as well as to ourselves thus publickly to express our thankfulness for this
distinguished mark of attention.

It is our earnest wish and it shall be our constant endeavour to convince
Your Excellency by our conduct that His Majesty has in this remote part of
his dominions men who, by loyalty and industry, are not unworthy of the
protection and fostering- care of our Parent State ; and we receive it as a
mark of the attention of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent in confiding
the Government of this Province to one whose object is to know its wants and
to promote its happiness.

And here we cannot refrain from expressing our warmest acknowledgments
to our leader, Colonel Talbot, who for the space of seventeen years hath
devoted his life and fortune to the rearing and organizing this once unculti-
vated but now increasing settlement, and who, by continued exertions and
kind offices, may be truly said to have discharged the duties of a father and
of a friend.

The exertions which have been made in the making and improving of our
public roads, we trust, have met with Your Excellency's approbation, and we
look forward with the pleasing hope when a facility of communication will
still farther be promoted by the growing prosperity of the Province under
Your Excellency's administration. Permit us on this occasion to express our
sincerest wishes for your health and prosperity, praying that you may long
enjoy the well-earned honors which your country has been pleased to bestow.

To -which His Excellency was pleased to return the folio-wing answer :


I thank you for your address, and assure you I have viewed with the
greatest satisfaction the flourishing state of your infant settlement.

Gentlemen, your loyalty and industry have been already made conspicuous
and will continue to add new importance and security to this part of the
Province, which has already excited a lively interest in His Royal Highness
the Prince Regent.

Very laudable and valuable are the exertions you have been making for the
improvement, or rather the creation, of your high road.

My worthy host must have heard that which you have recited of him with
the solid pleasure which attends on conscientiousness of desert.

Gentlemen, your welfare and interest shall not fail to have my best wishes
and all the assistance I can render them.




I. Letter}. Nevills, Secretary to Colonel Talbot.
I L Address to Colonel Talbot.
III. Memo, of J. Rolph.
IV. Colonel Talbofs reply to Address.

V . Colonel Burwelfs Address to the People of Talbot Road.
VI. Minutes of Meeting at First Anniversary.

I. Letter J. Nevills, Secretary, to Colonel Talbot.

YARMOUTH, 6th March, 1817.

SIR, I am directed, as Secretary, by a numerous meeting on the Talbot
Anniversary, on the 8th March, to transmit the enclosed address to you. I
am further directed to inform you that chair is to be left perpetually vacant
in your name, which is to be filled by you only, or by your descendants in
future ages.

In assuring you of the warmth end cordiality with which the above motions
were approved, I individually express the very particular respect with which,
I am

To the Hon. Colonel Talbot "k Your most obedient

Port Talbot. J and humble servant,



I sent the above letter in your name and Colonel Talbot's answer to you is


II. Address to Colonel Talbot.

SIR, Having assembled to commemorate the institution of this highly
favored settlement, we beg leave to present you with the tribute of that high
respect, which we collectively express, but which we individually feel. From
the earliest commencement of this happy Patriarchy, we date all the blessings
we now enjoy ; and regarding you as its Founder, its Patron and its Friend,
we most respectfully beg leave to associate your name with our infant
institution. To your first arrival at Port Talbot we refer, as the auspicious


hour, which gave birth to the happiness and independence we all enjoy, and
this day commemorate. In grateful remembrance of your unexampled
hospitality and disinterested zeal in our behalf; and contemplating with
interested feelings the astonishing progress of our increasing settlement,
under your friendly patronage and Patriarchal care, we have unanimously
appointed the 2ist May for the Talbot anniversary. And this public
expression of the happiness among ourselves, and of our gratitude to you, we
transmit through our children to our latest posterity.

We beg you will accept this assurance of our regard and veneration, not as
the voice of adulation, but as the language of conscious obligation and
heartfelt sincerity.

Signed in the name of the meeting, by



III. Memo, of f. Ralph.

The above address having been presented to the Hon. Colonel Talbot, he
was pleased to return the following answer.

The answer accompanies the letter inclosed to you.

The Secretary to the Talbot Anniversary, Mr. Adjt. James Nevills, should
prepare a statement to be published and he should keep on record all the
proceedings of the day. Should pen, ink and paper be scarce, the Adjutant
knows where he can get as much as he wants by riding up for it.

To Mr. Secretary James Nevills

Adjutant ist Regt. Middlesex Militia &c. &c. Yarmouth.

IV. Colonel Talbofs Reply to Address.

To the Inhabitants of the Talbot Settlement :

Accept my hearty thanks, in return for the flattering address which you
have been pleased, so unexpectedly, to honor me with.

I am highly gratified to hear that you are not insensible of the exertions I
have made to advance the welfare of this part of the Province, for which I am
amply compensated by witnessing this day the assemblage of so Loyal and
respectable a body of settlers, and I have not any doubt but that in a very few
years, our country will exhibit in a conspicuous degree, the superiority of our
soil and labors. The surest pledge we can give for its confirmation is to
preserve the continuance of the admirable industry and harmony which has
hitherto so happily prevailed throughout the Talbot Settlement, and you may
be assured that there shall not be any want of attention on my part to pro-
mote as far as lies in my power, your general interest.


You do me infinite honor, by associating my name with your infant
institution, which, I most ardently trust may be productive of social and
virtuous enjoyments, and never become the vehicle of calumny, and party

I intreat you individually to receive my sincere wishes that you and your
families may long partake of every comfort that this life affords.

I am gentlemen
Port Talbot ever, your faithful friend

loth March 1817 THOMAS TALBOT

V. Colonel BurwelFs Address to the People of Talbot Road.

To the People of Talbot Road :

GENTLEMEN Having seen the Prospectus to an Anniversary lately insti-
tuted at Doctor Lee's Hotel ; and the copy of an address to Colonel Talbot,
on the subject ; I think it my duty to inform the public that I am decidedly
opposed to the Institution. It is certainly premature.

I am never inclined to make opposition to anything, without being capable
of rendering reasons for so doing. At the same time I beg to be understood
as not meaning disrespect to the gentlemen who composed that Association.
On the contrary, I have a high respect for most of them.

The Law of the Land defines Anniversary days to be "solemn days
appointed to be celebrated yearly, in commemoration of the death or martyr-
dom of Saints.or the days whereon, at the return of every year men were wont
to pray for the souls of their deceased friends." I Ed. 6 chap. I4th.

If the worthy personage to whom the address was presented, had departed
this life. If he was no more I will not now inform the world, nor insult his
sense of delicacy by saying what part I would take in the foundation of such
an Institution. At present he is amongst us. We know his exertions to get
the fine tract of country we inhabit, settled. And he knows what our
exertions have been to settle it. Without saying anything more respecting
him we know him. And from the progress we have made, not in fine
Anniversary addresses, but in meliorating the rude wilderness : the world
may judge whether we have not such feelings and understandings as we
ought to have and whether we can appreciate its worth, without proclaiming
it on the house tops and making ourselves ridiculous.

However high and respectable any person may be, and whatever his
exertions may have been for the public good the industrious population
ought not to permit an act, which by its fulsomeness, would be insulting to
him, or beneath their own dignity. And whatever may be the object of
designing persons, the Yeomanry of the country should never do anything
that the observing world would be obliged to call prostitution to flattery.

The inhabitants of this new and extensive chain of settlement, are bearing
the burden in the heat of the day. Most of us have increasing families, and
just exert ourselves to support them. We can therefore but ill afford to pay


our cash for attending far fetched Anniversaries, public festivities, cordial
unions, &c., as they are called in the Prospectus before alluded to ; knowing
at the same time, that such Associations would have a tendency to lead us
imperceptibly to scenes of dissipation, and must like the baseless fabric of a
vision, fall to the ground,

I am, with sincere regard


Your most obedient and humble serv't

Southwold, Talbot Road, M. BURWELL.

1 8th April 1817.-

VI. Minutes of Meeting at First Anniversary.

On the 2 ist May, was held at Doctor Lee's Hotel, in Yarmouth, the
Talbot Anniversary to commemorate the Institution of the Talbot Settlement,
the President and Vice President, Capts. Secord and Rapelje directed the
address from Lieut. Colonel Burwell to the people of the Talbot Settlement,
in opposition to the Anniversary as well as his letter to the Secretary, on the
same subject, to be submitted to the meeting. The Anniversary was attended
by seventy-five persons. The above papers being read, the resolutions were
discussed and unanimously adopted, ist Resolution It is the opinion of this
meeting, that it was highly unbecoming for Lieut. Colonel Burwell, in such a
manner to obtrude his opinion on a subject respecting which, every man should
think for himself ; his individual voice is not to sway the public mind or over-
rule the popular opinion, and Resolution It is the opinion of this meeting
that Lieut.-Colonel Burwell's remarks upon the address voted to Colonel Talbot
merely on account of his being the friend and founder of this settlement, as
most indelicate and obtrusive. From Colonel Talbot's address, it is very
evident he was himself too liberal to insult us with such gross and ill-natured
animadversions, and it is again unanimously repeated, that Colonel Talbot is
deserving of our respect, for his uniform zeal and exertions in behalf of this
settlement. 3rd Resolution It is the opinion of this meeting that Lieut.-
Colonel Burwell's letter to the Secretary, is written in the most disrespectful
manner, but as it is the unanimous wish of this meeting to prevent the
anniversary from any further becoming the vehicle of calumny or party
intrigue, the Secretary is directed to rigidly forbear entering into any
future discussion with Lieut.-Colonel Burwell, on the subject of his
unbecoming interference, being most fully convinced that a reference, even
to Johnson's Dictionary, will correct his strange and unaccountable
mistake, as to the nature and design of Protestant Anniversaries.
4th Resolution The thanks of the meeting are presented to the committee
for their highly honorable and independent conduct.

(A true copy) JAMES NEVILLS,






/. List of Officers and Men of St. Thomas Cavalry Troop.
II. Letter Doyle McKenney to E. Ermrtinger.
III. Letter Col. Askin to E. Ermatinger re steamer Caroline.
IV. Letter of Col. Radcliff reporting capture of schooner Anne.
V. Letter Lieut. Wood-ward to E. Ermatinger reporting capture

of schooner Anne.

VI. Dispatch, Col. Askin to the " good people of St. Thomas."
VII. Letter, Col. Askin to E. Ermatinger and others.
VIII. Letter, L. La-wrason, Esq. to E. Ermatinger.
IX. District Order conveying Lt.-Gov'r's thanks to Officers.
X. District Order of Col. Love.

I. List of Officers and Men of the St. Thomas Cavalry Troop.
James Ermatinger, Captain Thomas Backus John Pearce

John Bostwick

J. K. Woodward, pay-master

Bark Rapelje

Daniel Marlatt

William Drake

John Thayer

Thomas Bobier

Richard Evans

John Sells

John Meek

James Meek

Thomas Meek

William Meek

Henry Bostwick

George W. Coll

Mr. Garrett, Pt. Stanley

R. Tomlinson, Pt. Stanley

Thomas Parish (killed at Pt. Pelee)

John Conrod

Frederick Huntley

George Smith, Five Stakes

Henry Finch, Aylmer, "Flagbearer 1

Mr. Duck, Morpeth

Captain Julius Airey, Port Talbot

Robert Short

Peter Wilson

Jepthah Wilson

William Silcox

Henry Harris

John Couse

Mr. Marten

Mr. Richardson

Mr. Bell

Mr. Walker

Daniel Berdan

Frank Wade

Dr. Brydges


Benjamin Lloyd


Dr. Stevens

Basset or Best, Pt. Stanley

Henry Ellis

Henry Bostwick

Dr. McKenzie, surgeon

Samuel Williams

Thomas Davidson

Henry Wilcox


//. -Letter, Doyle McKinney to E. Ermatinger.

MALAHIDE, nth Dec., 1837

We have been waiting these two days anxious to know what is to be done.

1 have wrote several letters but only received one from my friend Hodkenson.
The rebels from Bayham started last night for Hamilton or Toronto we don't
understand which. They rec'd a letter from James Malcolm of Oakland to
meet them near Brantford West has got all the men of Bayham to go he
could, say 30 or 40 with a promise of 200 acres of land.

I have got several of my neighbours (Loyalists) to meet and we have
united as one man to march to any part we may told and to give every assis-
tance to Lieut.-Governor or any lawful authority and to defend our Lawful
Sovereign with our lives and property what is wanted here is orders and armes.
We have but guns and less amunition but the Boys are manifesting every
manly fealing.

Capt. Medcalf and about twenty is now with me and we will be about 60 at

2 or 3 o'clock this afternoon My opinion that we ought to march to overtake
and defeat the Rebels and give every assistonce to our Queen and Laws with

in haste
Please write Yours &c

an Answer' DOYLE McKENNY

///. Letter, Col. Askin to E. Ermatinger re steamer Caroline.

LONDON i January 1838.

By an Express on its return home Mr Ross Robertson, who left Chippawa
Saturday at 3 P.m. we are informed that Captain Drew, with a party of " the
Elegant Extracts," the Boy Volunteers from London & Woodstock, made a
push over to Slusher on Friday night, cut out a Steam Boat which was, and
had been all that day observed in communication with the Rebels on Navy
Island and supposed to belong to the Rebel Army the cutting out was done
in gallant style she was set fire to and sent down the fall in the conflict
Capt. McCormack of Adelaide was wounded in two places, but not seriously
another person from Hamilton was also wounded slightly that was the only
injury the party sustained the party report having killed five persons and
wounded many. McKenzie from the last accounts is supposed to have a force
of about 800 with some cannon 6 or 8 the largest an 18 pr. Our forces exceed
3500 with 13 pieces of ordnance the largest of which is a 24 pr with a How-
itzer Active preparations are making for an attack on the Island. Boats
Collecting the messenger thinks some time in the week we may hear some-
thing decisive our forces are represented to be in high spirits Judge
McLean was there & just returned from a special mission to the seat of


government of the United States Mr. Robertson could not learn the result of
his mission there, but judging from what he could learn, that all was right
lest you should not know the nature of McLean's mission, it was a demand on
the part of the Lt. Governor to the Governt of U. S. to insist upon the
enforcmt of the Laws, founded on the Treaty of Peace and amity existing
between Great Britain and this government, and in default of the Executive
of the U. S. acting with vigor against persons aiding or abetting the Rebels
that the Minister of our Government was to leave the U. S. As you will
see by the tenor of his speech to the House of Assembly that the Governor is
in earnest. Nothing new from the West Hamilton is at Windsor Ferry
William Jones at Sarnia, who will give us the earliest intelligence of any
movements making there the man who carries this being a private hence I
must conclude with wishing you many happy returns of the day and to
request that you will give the information contained in this to Col. Talbot
Bostwick and all our friends at St. Thomas particularly Shores, McKenzie,
Innes &c.

Yours most faithfully


IV. Letter of Col. Radcliff reporting capture of schooner Anne.

AMHERSTBURG 10 Jany 1838.

I have succeeded in taking the enemy's schooner well provided with arms
an ammunition & three guns, it took place as follows they have keeping us
in a constant state of hot water these few days & last night at dark the
schooner who lay at the East point of the island opposite the Fort was
remarked to near the shore, on this being reported, I directed the guards to
be re-inforced & all hands to be ready to turn out. in a few moments, she got
under way and ran down along the town, as usual throughing shot & grape
into private Houses we all hurried off to the point opposite the West end of
the island, whence it was supposed they meant to effect a landing, however
in the meantime I had strong suspicions, that while we were occupied at the
point, the Rebells would attempt a landing below the post, to obviate this
difficulty, I detailed acting Lieut. Col. Prince M.P.P. and placed 150 men
under his command & gave him directions to look well to his right and front
this matter being attended to, I proceeded to the point, where I found the
men well ^stationed on part of the piket House where there were large trees
around and behind which they were enabled to cover themselves totally by
this time the schooner came close to the shore and of course we were prepared
for a landing they cannister and grape without effect and musketry We
shortly began to suspect that the vessel was aground and some men attempted
to Board which was effected without opposition the men had to wade nearly
up to their arms in water, We have taken all descriptions of useful equipments,


muskets & Bayonets, Pouches, Knapsacks, ammunition, 3 peices of cannon
&c which I will detail more accurately when I am in possession of the

I beg you will forward me here without delay the ship Gun carriages that
are at the North West Compy's store, with any shot or grape you may have.
My zealous friend Captn Douglas will push this matter if you give him
directions. If my men are come send them I cannot return to Windsor for
some time also get my clothes from the tailor & send them to me as I am
shabby beyond anything you can imagine. I am about to send a party of
volunteers to re-occupy the island of Bois Blanc. If you send up the gun
carriages we will have the schooner rigged up for our own use.

I am dear Sir

fcYour obt sert

Return of killed and THOS. RADCLIFF.

wounded on board the schooner
" Anne " of Detroit, taken on the night
of the gth January 1838

Killed i

Wounded 8

Prisoners 12


Prisoners names ascertained
Dr. Theller general
Bob Davis cap'n
David Anderson

Reed Jany. 10, 1838
4 O c P.m.
Jas. Hamilton

Walter Chase
W.M. Dodge
Squire Thayer
Nathan Smith

h Dr. Theller said to 1-
died since taken

Stephen O. Brothy

V. Letter of J. K. Woodward, Lieut, and Paymaster St. Thomas
Cavalry, to Edw. Ermatinger.

AMHERSTBURG, Jany 10, 1838.
St. Thomas

DR SIR On my arrival at Amherstburgh the magistrates requested my
staying to assist them & in the evening of the same day a sloop came along
the shore, firing grape shot to the annoyance of our Friends who instantly
returned the compliment with Musket and Rifle Balls.

Yesterday a day to be remembered the sloop appeared off the Land.


Fire grape on the town. We pursued it for about 2 miles when providentially
she grounded. We commenced a raking fire on her. Her port gun carriage
becoming injured she could not again fire & she surrendered with 7 Boxes of
new Muskets, great quantities of fire arms and ammunition, one large field
peice, one less & a brass gun Walter Chase & Dr Teller & 1 1 prisoners
Anderson was shot in the chest & will no doubt die in a day or two.

The prisoners are under an escort of St. Thomas Cavalry.

Dr Duncombe's Horse, Chase informs me, was found tied to a tree at bear
creek & Dr Duncombe is supposed to be drowned.

Captn Josh. Done is on an Island a mile from us, Bois Blanc, with about
100 men. We are going to pay them a visit this morning. Some of the
prisoners are French & Irish the principal Americans from Munro &

I have no time to communicate anything more will write early
I am Dr Sir
Yours truly


VI. Despatch Colonel Askin "to the good people at St. Thomas."

Prisoners taken by the Royal Kent Volunteers & others on the night of the
9th inst. General Theller, Col. Dodge, Capt. Robert Davis author of the
" Canada Farmer Published in Buffalo last summer. Col. Brothy of the
Engineers with others amongst whom is Capt. David Anderson of Yarmouth
2 six & i 9 Pounders 300 muskets new (said to have been taken from the
arsenal at Detroit) with abundance of appointments and ammunition, etc.

Extracted from a Dispatch addressed by Brigd Genl T. H. Sutherland to
Genl VanRansellier at Navy Island and Dated Bois Blanc Island 10 January

this latter part is not true, as we have reason to believe is in possession of
our Forces


Extract from Col. RadcliflTs letter to Col. Hamilton " I am about to send a
party of volunteers to re-occupy the Island of Bois Blanc."

VII. Letter from J. B. Askin to Edward Ermatinger and others.

LONDON 12 January 1838

GENTLEMEN I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday's,
and referred me to Capt. Shore to concert measures to adopted in the present
crisis it is proper I should mention, that an express has reached this on its
route to Toronto, this dispatch is dated 8 Jany 20 min. to i P.m. since or


rather I might say a gentleman (a merchant) from Montreal who has been as
far West as Chicago, arrived here and states that he left Detroit on Tuesday
afternoon at 6- and saw and spoke with Mr. Thomas McCrae then on Board
of a schooner who left Sandwich at the same time that this informant left
Detroit. McCrae told him that the volunteers or militia have had a brush
with the rebel party and repulsed them from Bois Blanc island, and that they
were on Sugar Island some short distance from Bois Blanc But on Wednes-
day afternoon at about 4 P.m. he met the steamer Cynthia and a schooner
full of troops, which he is fully of opinion must have reached Sandwich before
Thursday morning as the night was renutrkably calm and quiet under all
circumstances I think it would be advisable to wait for some further informa-
tion before measures are taken for moving a body of men, and in fact Col.
Radcliff being then in command and in the absence of any desire on his part
I do not think it right to order men out, as it might be only harrassing good men
unnecessarily which you rest assured I shall not hesitate to do, when there
shall be a necessity for doing so. I wrote again in the very strongest terms
to Col. Jones & pointed out how impossible it would be to expect the militia
men of the country to go forward to meet any an invading foe without the
means of repelling them. Capt. Shore will communicate with you on the
subject of the information which has reached this.


Extract from the remarks upon the Road bill by Mail from Sandwich dated
9th January 1838 at 7 oclock a.m. " The rebels at midnight in two small
schooners attempted to land at Maiden fired a number of Cannon but
appeared to be repulsed by our Musketry and when the courier left appeared
to be shoving off. The courier brought back the Eastern Mail and no mail
from Amherstburg. The P. M. could not be found

(signed) JOHN GENTLE P. M.

* * * *

War has commenced in this quarter. We are all in an uproar. Chatham
i full of men, but not one in 10 has arms upwards of 200 left this for
Sandwich this morning in the Schr Kent and Steamer Cynthia. Report says
the Rebels were to have made another attack last night

(signed) D. McGREGOR P. M.

dated at Raleigh 10 Jany 8 P. m.

VIH. Letter from L. Laivrason to Edw. Ermatinger.

LONDON 26 June 1838

By a dispatch rec'd today it appears that 7 or 800 Rebels are assembled at
Pelham and that our old friend Dr. Wilson has been conspicuous amongst
them he was last seen in the Grand River Swamp and is supposed to be


somewhere in this District. I have sent to Norwich in search of him & the
Bearer Mr R. Warren Dy. Shff. has a Warrant to apprehend him as he may
probably be lurking about Sparta. Will you be so kind as to give any assis-
tance or information you can to effect his capture It is also suspected that
many of the others may flee in this direction Should Dr Wilson be taken
have him searched and examined Ask him when he left the United States
with whom whether he knows Samuel Chandler and where he saw him last.
Wilson is supposed to have a good deal of money with him. About $1000
were stolen by the rebels from two persons in the Niagara District. Chandler
& 5 others have been taken and the Forces are preparing to attack the
Rebels from every side and hope to capture or destroy the most of them
Most likely they will scatter about the woods but it is possible they may
attempt to effect their way Westward in a body Should any thing new come
before this post leaves tomorrow I will let you know, meantime, I remain,
Yrs faithfully

Edw. Ermatinger Esq. ' L. LAWRASON

IX. District Order conveying Lt.-Gov'r's thanks to the Officers.
9th March 1838

The Colonel commanding has great pleasure in publishing to the District
under his command the following copy of a letter addressed to him by the
Adjutant General at Toronto

TORONTO and March 1838

Colonel Foster having laid before the Lieutenant Governor your communi-
cation of the 25th inst. enclosing Col. Townshend's letter to you of the same
date I am commanded by his Excellency to convey to you as also to Col.
Townshend his approbation of the prompt and effectual manner in which the
rebels were driven from Fighting Island by Captn Brown's Compy 32nd
Regt, the 83rd Company under Lieutenant Kilsall, Captn Glasgow's Detach-
ment of the Royal Artillery and the Gallant Body of Volunteers and Militia
who accompanied them.

The Lieutenant Governor desires that you will be so good as to express to the
above named officers as also to Colonel's Elliott and Askin of the and Essex
Militia Captain Ermatinger of the St. Thomas Cavalry and to Lieutenant
Col. Prince his thanks for their gallant conduct in this affair. His Excellency
has been particularly gratified by observing the feelings of cordiality and


unanimity which evidently exist between Her Majesty's Soldiers and the
Militia men of the Province

To Colonel I have the honour to be

The Honble T. Maitland (signed) RICHARD BULLOCK

commanding Amherstburg Adjt Genl Militia

By order J. D. Kelly Adjt 32 Regt and
acting Major of Brigade

X. District Order of Col. Love.

DISTRICT ORDER 28 April 1840

Col Love cannot allow the cavalry to be disbanded without expressing to
the officers, noncommissioned officers and men of the Norfolk and St. Thomas
Troops, his approbation at the improvement they have made in their drill and
discipline, and his satisfaction at their general good conduct during the time
they have been under his command, He feels assured, should circumstances
again make it necessary for them to leave their homes for the defence of the
Province, that they will turn out with the same loyal spirit which first induced
them to offer their services, and should an opportunity be afforded them
prove to the enemies of their country and their Queen that they have neither
forgotten the discipline which has been taught them nor allowed their swords
to get rusty in their scabbards.

By order


Lt. Adjt




1848 AND 1850 etc.

/. Letters from Geo. Macbeth to H. C. R. Becher, 1847 and 1848.
II. Letters from Col. Talbot and Geo. Macbeth to H. C. R. Becher

1830 and 1851.
III. Miscellaneous.

Extract from letter of Geo. Macbeth to H .C. R. Becher, Esq., fth
Dec. , 1847 -from Pt. Talbot.

Colonel Talbot has received an answer from Col. Airey expressing his
delight at the offer made to him and accepting all the conditions proposed.
Colonel Talbot does not understand the report of his being appointed Deputy
Adjutant General as he has received a letter of the 2nd Jany from Mr Julius
Airey in which no mention is made of it.

Col. Talbot is quite well.

Extract from letter of Geo. Macbeth to H. C. R. Becher, Esq.

26 Mount St. Grosvenor Square
DEAR SIR LONDON i3th July 1848

I suppose you have already heard from Col. Airey of our safe arrival at
Liverpool. We were rather longer at sea than the Col. expected when he
engaged his passage in a Liner, altho' 23 days cannot be considered long.
We had very little rough weather and altogether a good voyage.

The Col. did not suffer the least, he was on deck more or less every day
and ate I think more than he did at home, and at night he slept very well, not
being much troubled with cramp the only trouble was his insisting on sleep-
ing in the upper berth, and when the ship was rolling it sometimes made him
groan when he rubbed his shins against the boards. He took it into his head
that I must be seasick, and he did not like the idea of my being in the berth
above him. I was not, I am proud to say, in the least ill. I did not indeed
miss a meal the whole way over, which I attribute, I must say to my drinking
a great deal of weak brandy and water, the advice of the chief mate so that
when I felt the least qualms, I at once paid my respects to the bottle, let it be
morning, noon or night.

It was getting late in the evening before we could pass our traps through
the Custom House at Liverpool so that we slept there that night, and the
next morning early (perhaps Col. Airey will tell you how early the Col. can


get up when he is traveling) we started by Rail for London. The Colonel has
taken lodgings near Hyde Park, the pleasantest part of this wilderness of
Houses and Streets Perhaps you will expect me to say something of London,
but I cannot I really do not know what to say Of course you know what it
is and for the size of it, Oh dear, there is no end to streets, carriages and men
in Livery the last indeed struck me as much as anything I do believe there
is footmen enough in London at present (fine handsome fellows, too) to beat
the whole United States Army, boasters as they are by the bye what a row
Mitchell case is likely to make brother Jonathan seems to make a great
fuss about it.

Two days ago I went to the Admiralty and saw Captain Becher, he is not
a bit like you I think altho his voice is like yours then he looks at least 20
years (I wont say as old as your father) older than you do, he is stouter and
apparently in excellent health, he was very busy and could not speak much to
me. He gave me his mother's and his own address, and hoped I would call
some evening, so today I went to Norland Square and called on Mrs. Becher,
your mother. .........

Well I was shewn up into a magnificent drawing room where I waited for a
moment, when in walked Mrs. Townsend, if I do not forget, your sister. I
bowed and all that sort of thing, apologised for calling, etc, She looked at
me very hard, as they took it into their heads that I must be " Harry." She
then asked me to sit down, and told me that her mother felt nervous when the
servant gave my message (I did not tell my name) but that she would be in,
in a moment. What a scene it would be to be sure if it had been "Harry."
Well presently in comes Mrs. Wood I think, her two daughters & son and
maybe there was not a cross fire of questions. Well there I sat trying to
answer all their questions for perhaps an hour.

Extracts from letter of Geo. Macbeth to H, C. R. Becher 2jth

March, 1850, from Pt. Talbot.

I am sorry to say the Colonel is scarcely, if any, better. He is dreadfully
emaciated and quite helpless, last evening Daniel and myself had to carry
him from the sitting to his bedroom. He had however a tolerable night's
rest and is now (%, past 10) fast asleep. -

He still says will start on Thursday if you come on the 2yth, but when he
gets up I will speak to him again. He will not try to catch the steamer on
the 3rd. My plan is, if it will suit you is to leave here on Saturday or
Sunday and let him stay with Mrs. Harris until your business in Court will
be over, say on Thursday or Friday. I am much afraid that he cannot
possibly reach London in his present state and the state of the roads from
St. Thomas here is something dreadful to think of. I do believe it will kill


him. Do you think you could get some sort of a covered carriage from
Jennings ? Never mind the cost we need not let him know it and I can pay
for it. It would be much warmer and comfortable that we might induce him
to take it to Hamilton Daniel taking the luggage in our lumber waggon.

Afternoon. The Col. is up but is no better. I think worse. We had to
lift him out of bed and carry him to this room in a chair. He is more
determined than ever to be off. He wishes you to bring as easy a carriage
as you can get and to come as soon as you can, not later than Thursday.
If he is able he says he will go on to Toronto without you early in the week,
rather than interfere with your business every moment he stays here is
hastening his death he says he feels it. He wont eat anything at all to-day
he is now scolding me to haste and pack up.

I do'n't know what to do with him. I think it will be wrong to let him
move in his present state. If I allowed him to travel in the way he is in
England without medical advice (& he died) they would try me for my life as
being accessory to his death.

He won't let me write more but will write on Wednesday tho' I fear you'll
not get it in time to come out on Thursday. Yours gratefully


Wednesday evening.
The Col. got much worse after your departure and on Sunday and Monday

we certainly tho't he would have died. On Tuesday morning within

the space of half one hour he was still so weak that he had to be

lifted in and out of bed. He is now slowly I think improving but eats nothing
drinks a little wine & water and is very irritable.

He desires me to say that the state of the roads being so bad he thinks you
had better not come out till the ayth. Col. A. is waiting for this.

Yours faithfully
G. M.

On board the Cambria
MY DEAR MR. BECHER off Halifax, 5th July.

The Colonel is gaining fast he is actually able to walk up & down stairs
with the assistance of any of the passengers and along the passages by
himself. He eats well breakfast and dinner, and rests well. He is cheerful
and happy and converses with the passengers among whom he has found an
old friend of 30 or 40 years standing, a Mr. Beckett. And who else do you
think ? No less a personage than Mrs. Fanny Kemble with whom he has
revived an old acquaintance as it appears he in conjunction with the present
Ld Wharncliffe & Mr. James Stuart Wortley were her greatest supporters &
admirers in her earliest efforts on the stage. He bathes his feet morning &
evening in warm salt water, which he thinks strengthens them, but they are
still much swollen, probably from walking so much which he persists in doing
not sitting 5 minutes in a place unless some one is speaking to him. The


passengers generally are astonished and know not what to make of him. But
the public and particular manner in which Mrs. Kemble begged for his
acquaintance has taken a great deal of trouble off my hands the passengers
being kind and attentive and the stewards and servants generally being
more civil and particular than they were disposed to be to a person of his
dress and appearance.

For myself I hate the boat the steams of cooking, smells, smoke, dust and
shaking makes me more inclined to be ill than ever I was on board the good
ship Montezuma the shaking so violent in smooth water that I can hardly
write as you perceive. I dont know how things will be when 'tis rough. We
have not had a breath of wind since we left New York calm & foggy. We
nearly ran down a vessel her sails got almost entangled in our ropes. The
captain fears will have to lay by nearer Halifax for the fog to clear off other-
wise we should be in by i or 2 in the morning (6th) 'tis now 7 P. M. (sth).

The Col. wishes you to stop the Albion & pay for the back subscription,
which I had not time to do myself in New York.

With kind remembrances to all I remain my dear Mr. Becher,

Yours affectionately
and faithfully


Letter Col. Talbot to H. C. R. Becher.

LONDON igth July 1850

I want to let you see my hand writing again. George will tell you all
about me. I am certainly a little stronger but still very feeble, but can walk
a little with the support and assistance of our friend George. I trust that this
may find yourself and Mrs. Becher well. Write immediately to George.
God bless you.

Ever Truly Yrs


Extract from accompanying letter from George Macbeth from " Long's
Hotel, Bond Street."

When I wrote from on board the Cambria off Halifax I gave my letter to
the Mail Master and did not like to trouble him to get it back to open it and
give my account of our getting on the rocks and I thought it hardly worth
the postage writing another as I thought you would see an account of it by
Telegraph. The Col. was below and was somewhat frightened at the three
distinct shocks. We left Halifax at 7 P. M. Saturday and arrived in the
Mersey at 3 a. m. on the Tuesday but one following. We had no wind all
the way across. In fact the water the most of the time was as glassy as a
river. We went to our old Hotel in Liverpool, the Stork and on Wednesday
I took a run out to Knowesley to dinner. There was no visitors there and I
heard no news.


Lord Stanley & his son are in Town. They leave next week, Mr. S
starting on his travels, but when I could not learn. The Chanoinesse* is
dead. I did not tell him, but will get Dowr Lady T. to break it to him he is
now going to call on some of his friends. By next week I'll write and tell
you his plans for the future.

Letter Col. Talbot to H. C. R. Becker.

26 Mount St. Grosvenor Square 31 July 1850.

When I returned to London 2 days ago I found your welcome letter of the
gth inst and altho' short it was satisfactory as to your doings, as every little
information is interesting in my present condition. I remained a week at St.
Leonards in Sussex to try what the sea air might effect. The place is on the
Sea Shore, dry and bracing, but my weak state did not admit of my walking
out, so I lost the pleasure that otherwise I might have enjoyed, and whether
I received strength from the air or nature I don't know and now for business,
I am glad that you sold one lot in Dunwich, the price tolerable, but hope the
land may increase in value soon, my object is to invest as much as I can so
that I may provide a fair income to live in this expensive country for you have
not the least idea of how much money it requires to live now in the most
quiet manner in England. I should certainly say in a very humble way
according to may live for less than from 800^ to 1000 sterling a year, but
with that I might partake of some reasonable comfort and not less.

My sister Fanny is dead, and left the ;iooo I owed her to James Talbot,
Ld Talbot de Malahide's eldest son he has not as yet said anything to me
about it, but when he does, I shall answer that it is not in my power to pay
the whole sum at once, but by degrees for he does not want it. Of course I
mean that Col, Airey shd get all the remaining money that may be paid on
the land in Aldboro' that was conditioned to be sold by me previous to my
giving Airey a deed for Aldboro'. But all that can be collected from the land
that I reserved for myself, I wish that as much as can be may be invested for
an income. At the same time I shall require some 100 to keep me until the
interest is sufficient to support me. All sums must be invested in my own
name. Pray when you write which I request may be as often as you can to
give a particular account of the state of the Province and how Hincks' assess-
ment Bill operates and also I beg that you will fairly tell me as near as you
can the amounts I may rely on receiving a year so that I may limit myself
accordingly, as it would be dreadful to out run my means. George is getting
on as well as I could wish and I have the greatest comfort in him and I
flatter myself that my health may be restored so long as to give me many

*Col. Talbot's sister Fanny, a chanoinesse i. e. canouess.


years more of his friendly assistance, for it can't be valued at my age as yet
I have not been able to walk out to see any of my old friends, indeed they are
now going out of London as fast as they can, and as to my visiting them in the
country it will not be in my power. I hope that Mrs. Becher may be quite
well and safe when this reaches you. Give her my kindest regards. I had a
note from Mrs. Harris. Mary's marriage not settled. George joins in good
wishes. Yrs ever truly


George Macbeth to H. C. R. Becher, Esq.


After a great deal of persuasion the Colonel was induced to join his sister*
here on Monday evening last. But hitherto we have not succeeded in getting
him to drink the waters, which indeed is not so much to be wondered at for
the smell & taste is dreadful worse than any of Dr Anderson's medicine
with the breeze I can smell the pump room at least two hundred yards off
Since my last I cannot say there is much if any improvement his legs
continue about the same size, but his appetite is very good. He was a good
deal fagged coming from London for we lost the morning express train & the
next with stoppages & shifting from one carriage to another took 11%

High Harrowgate where we are staying is an open exposed and wide
plain consequently bleak and cold, but the air is clear of smoke, a rare thing
in Yorkshire. The Colonel does not dislike it, for he is very comfortable with
his sister. The company all live at the public table as in America, but in a
much better manner, in fact like a large private party, each one being waited
on by their own servants, there being only one or two belonging to the house
attending to sometimes two or 300 persons. There are a great many of his
friends here, so that he has enough of company and when he tires goes to his
own room where there is always a good fire. There are private & public
Balls every week & well attended but tho' one does not visit the ball room, if
staying at the Hotels, are expected indeed obliged to contribute towards the
funds to pay the band. The Town is very unconnected rows & terraces here
and there and this hotel is more than a mile from the Springs.

He is counting the days that your answer should arrive it is no avail my
telling him that he has more than enough while he lives. His answer always
is that " Becher will let me know." I am most anxious that your account
will satisfy him otherwise he will make himself very unhappy he very often

says that he would be content with 800 but .1000 would be better 1 do

not know how long Mrs. Kay will remain but I think six weeks and what our

*Col. Talbot's sister Eliza, wife of Ellis Cunliffe Lister Kaye.


next move will be he does not know. Much will depend on your letter which
(as 'tis 3 weeks since he wrote) I expect will arrive before we leave here. I
have nothing more that you would care about. I send you an Illustrated
News. Yours faithfully


Extract from letter of Geo. Macbeth to H. C. R. Becker dated at
26 Mount St., ist Oct., 1830.

Your letter of the 2gth Augt announcing poor Mr Harris' death was
received on the i6th Sept. Of course you will be much surprised at not
hearing from me for so long a time, but as I had nothing of consequence to
write I deferred until I should hear in answer to what I wrote on the eve of
our departure to Harrowgate. We stayed at Harrowgate just four weeks
with manifest benefit to the Colonel's health and strength, for latterly he
walked more or less every day that was fine and generally sat in the gardens
attached to the Hotel the greater portion of the day & in fact where he held
his levees being generally surrounded by a dozen at least of the visitors to
Harrowgate & the grass around his favourite seat had no need of mowing.
Notwithstanding all this the pure air, exercise, cheap living, the society of
his friends & some relatives it was with the greatest difficulty Mrs. Kaye &
myself could induce him to remain, indeed we could not have prevailed but
that Mrs. Kaye had an alarming fit of illness & he could not well leave her
while under the Dr's hands. His desire was so great to return to Town there
was nothing for it but to yield but I got a sort of promise that he would go
to Richmond for some weeks & I consequently engaged rooms at the far
famed "Star and Garter" but after all he backed out, starting so many
difficulties & the everlasting "I must hear from Becher before I decide on
anything." When I found that Richmond was no go I hinted that the
November fogs might be agreeably avoided at Paris or its environs. He
appears to agree with me and now after a great many provisoes it is arranged
that we go to Boulogne shortly, staying at Amiens and other places as we
happen to like them, then from Paris to St. Germain en laye which some
persons recommend because like St. Leonards it suited them & which I
prophesy like St. Leonards will not suit us. Then he proposes to take a tour
thro' Normandy and Brittany returning via Havre de Grace and Southamp-
ton. All this, however as yet vague surmise, but that we leave London I am
determined on, for various reasons. In the first place there are scarcely ont
of the people he likes in town & as he is not fond of sights or amusements he
does not go out sufficient for his health & again the country air is better for
him and travelling about keeps his mind employed & active and he has then
less time to think of old days. Hyde Park the nearest to us is too far for him
to walk to & altho' carriages are often at his disposal will not take advantage


of them to take a drive as for cabs I have had them at the door but could
not get him into one to go as far as the gates because it would cost a shilling
and the consequence is that altho' weather has been beautiful I cannot get
him out.

Dr Paris prescribed along with his medicine (for the legs) moderate
walking on grass or gravel walks but the Col. only laughs at him.

Despite all this he is very well, the legs lessening, and his appetite good,
the face plump red & clear without a wrinkle, his clothes completely filled,
& when any old Dowager (none else in Town) calls, his gallantry & efforts to
walk up & down stairs are amusing enough.

Oct 3rd

And now for Business. Your two letters are just what I expected particu-
larly the portion regarding the Colonel's probable income. I repeated the
same thing in substance to him time after time. I well knew that there is
plenty & that from the recentness of our departure nothing could be added
by you to what we already knew. He however was of a different opinion &
I must say that his dread of poverty was so vivid that he was ready to
imagine anything. The dread of such a thing was very detrimental to his
health & comfort and doing things incompatible to an independent person.
Your letter therefore being so satisfactory I trust there is an end to it.

. . . . The Colonel was delighted with your account of Jane and the
children and is much pleased at your settling those matters personally. But
we cannot understand what became of the wool. McKechnie bargained for
it. Col. Airey writes that he was indignant at not getting it & that Daniel
sold it to someone else. Col. Airey's letter is a gem it is Airey all over
sent here to a Lady enclosed with a long apology for trouble &c. & begging
it might be forwarded to Col. T. as he was not aware what part of the world
he was in then there is a long account of the roses & garden, some at-
tempts at pleasantry, some indignation at Daniel's taking away trunks full of
old letters & refusing him (Col. A.) to nail them up and seal them to be kept
till Col. T. returned &c. and concluding with the favourable accounts he
heard from Mrs. Burwell (of Col. T.) The Colonel of course has not answered
nor intends to do so for I learnt at Harrowgate from Mrs A's sister that Col.
A. had weekly accounts from one or other of the family, who are well aware
of the Col's residence and state of health. -

The English papers are making great fun of theYankees about Jenny Lind.

Letter Colonel Talbot to H. C. R. Becker.

LONDON Jany. 3rd 1851.

I returned from Paris two days ago after two months absence and am
happy to tell you with my health a good deal better but my natural strength
is as yet far from being restored and cannot walk the streets but a very little


way without being tired. George keeps quite well. I have received yours of
the 3Oth Oct. and your letter of the 3rd & gth of Deer and your account of the
state of Canada is tolerable. George has the letters to examine and con
over, however they are not quite what I wanted, as in a former letter you
promised to send me a minute statement of all the money I have invested in
the different stocks with the interest they produced, as it is impossible for me
to govern my expenses without actually being fully acquainted with my
means, for no person in Canada can be aware of the difficulty of living in the
most economical way in England or indeed in any part of Europe for really a
York sixpence will go further at Port Talbot, than a Sovereign in London or
Paris. I am therefore to beg of you to furnish me with all this needful
information as soon as you possibly can. George will write soon to you, but
I must give my honest opinion as to investments, for you must well know my
objections to all shipping speculations, such as railroads, steamboats and
vaporing of every description. I like good honest investments that will give
a fair interest without being mixed up in Law. You of course will not
interfere with my pension for that I keep to myself, nor do I intend to break
in on any principal, but to confine myself to the interest. If I find that I can
treat myself to a tour in the South of France in the Summer, that is after the
first of July, I shall do so, but all depends on my pocket. I am delighted to
hear that Mrs. Becher and all yours are so flourishing and that my friends the
Harris's affairs are becoming better, and now (quite confidential) let me know
how Col. Airey is getting on and how he is considered in my dear country
dont give your opinion half way, but the actual truth. This is quite entre
nous. Mr. John Airey is not as yet back, but is expected this month. He
appears altogether charmed with America, but I am resolved not to give my
opinion to him. Daniel tells George that Col. Airey has purchased a
Reservation Lot in Dunwich. I hope it is not one of mine. George is now
out hunting up for a lodging for me, for this Hotel, the Burlington in old
Burlington street, is most extravagant. I have not seen a soul as yet, in
fact every person seems to be quite ruined in old England so God bless you
and write regularly, if I can accomplish my next Summer tour, I shall require
at least .300 but all will depend on your report. Now with kindest regards
and wishes to all friends

Believe me, always most sincerely yours

P. S. Give me all the gossip for every trifle is interesting. T. T.

Extracts from an Accompanying Letter from Mr. Macbeth.

We arrived from Paris on Tuesday evening and are staying at the Bur-
lington Hotel, which I like very much. I have tried to induce the Col. to
remain in it always which if he agreed to do the proprietor would let us
have apartments reasonably cheap, but I have not yet prevailed. I have been
looking for better lodgings than we had in Mount St. and I find that good


apartments are not to be had after the first of April in this part under Seven
guineas a week. The same that in other seasons range from 30 to 40 shillings.
The Col. is very much better he can trot about quite well by himself and is
tolerably firm on his legs the swelling is quite gone. He went yesterday to
Stultz and ordered a new rig out bought a new hat &c.
Two subjects divide the attention of the public at present the Grand
Exposition & Cardinal Wiseman. You will probably see it stated that the
Emperor of Russia, King of Prussia &c, are coming. There is no truth in
the rumour and as to the Catholics they will have their own way in the end
depend upon it. I was horribly sea sick coming from France. The Col. was
not. Good bye till next Thursday.

Extract from Letter Geo. Macbeth to H. C. R. Becker.

17 Mount St. aist Feb 1851.

We received your letter closed 30 Deer and a most satisfactory one it
proved. The Col. could scarcely believe it until I pointed out the different
items, at the same time telling him how much it would increase and how rich
he would be in five years, which latter he said was like telling him " live
horse and you'll get clover." I am sorry to say that he is not so well as he
was when last I wrote. About 10 days ago feeling quite well and strong he
took advantage of my being out and walked to pay some visits. After
walking and heating himself a good deal he returned in, when Lady Talbot
called and insisted on taking him out in her carriage when he must have got
chilled, for ever since he has lost his appetite, is weak and has a most fright-
ful cough. I called in Dr. Paris, who prescribed for him, but with little
apparent benefit as yet. I too have had the influenza What do
you think of Col. Airey's new move. Col. Wetherall thinks it was altogether
unsolicited, but does not seem to know. He accounted for it in this manner.
Col. Sullivan (Col. A's friend) has been writing grumbling letters to Col. A-
and Col. A. wrote back that if he did not like the work &c that he was willing
to resume his duties at the Horse Guards if the Adjutant General had no
objection. That Sullivan showed this to Lord Fitzroy & Ld F. to the Duke,
who said "We could not have a more proper person." That is all I could
learn from Col. W. As far as Col. Talbot is concerned it is little matter now
whether he comes or stays. Col. T. will not see him if he can help it. You
may be sure the Col. & myself have often talked about it, but can not arrive
at any likely conclusion. He can easily arrange about Port Talbot, Mrs.
Airey & the children. But what will he do with Aldboro' ?

We had John Airey here with long stories of all he had seen & done in
Canada & the States. He told the Col. he would have married the youngest
Miss Bannerman but that she was too young for him he did not say she


would take him ! He expressed himself delighted with your London &
neighbourhood as well as the attentions paid him He is now in Paris and so
is Chrisr Robinson

The Col. says you are to ask from Col. Airey he portraits of the old &
young Ld Wharncliffes & the Ivory miniature of Lady Young*

Extracts from letters Col. Talbot to H.C. R. Beclier, Esq.

17 Mount St. Grosvenor Square 3rd April 1851

I was very much gratified with the receipt of yours of the 3rd of last
month, but it was not my intention to tell you so, for a couple of weeks more
but yesterday brought me the first hint from the Executor of my sister the
late Countess Talbot, claiming and asking for the money I owed her. . . .
I told you in my last that it is not my intention to sell any of the land in the
Avenue between old Port Talbot and Burwell's as my hobby now is, that
myself and George shall employ ourselves there in making a snug little
Wigwam, as my last retreat on this earth, and feel most desirous that George
may be comfortably settled during my life. He is now in his 25th year of age
and I am near 80, so that there's not much time for play.

17 Mount St Grosvenor Square Thursday 8 May 1851

Your note of the lyth of April I received the 4th inst. with the Bills of
Exchange for .300 Sterg and a note for George, all very acceptable. Col.
Airey is injLondon but that is all that I know about him, further than that he
is unwell. He has not called on me yet, and hope that he may not. Amelia
Harris wrote that he was going to sell all the fruit trees, shrubs and flowers
that I was at the cost and trouble of taking to Port Talbot, but Mr Sanders
protested against his robbing the gardens, however Daniel told George that
he had sold them or some of them. By the way I am most anxious for
Daniel's arrival in London as I am about ready to start for Canada, and it

would be too provoking to be retained waiting here for him I

am very sorry you did not insist on having my miniature picture of Ly
Young from the Aireys, as I am convinced it was their full intention to make
it their own & I hate to have any communication with them.

Geo. Macbeth to H. C. R. Bhcher.
MY DEAR SIR. 9th May

The Colonel kept his note open for me to add this, this morning. Colonej
Airey has just been in town a fortnight, and has not yet made his appearance
and I conclude never will. I cannot say that I was not a little surprised at
you and Col. Airey making it up so amicably but I am very glad of it, for
with your aid there is still a chance of keeping the old place in the hands of

*Col. Talbot's sister Barbara.


respectable people. Yet at first sight it looked very much like going over to
the Enemy. London goes on as usual. Not the slightest difference that I
can see only a few more bearded faces. I've only been in the glass palace

once the price being still 5/. I intend to wait The Colonel is

fully bent on going to Canada -when I cannot tell you.


III. Resolutions to be proposed by Mr. Ermatinger (in Legislative
Assembly) on Wednesday, 2jrd June, 184*7.

1. Resolved, That this House views with apprehension the difficult situation
in which the Trade and Commerce of this Province will be placed by the
policy of the Imperial Government in withdrawing from the productive labour
of its inhabitants, prospectively, all protection ; thereby exposing our Agri-
culturists to an unequal competition with the United States in the staple
articles of our trade.

2. Resolved, That this abandonment of the protective policy of England
towards her Colonies in general, and this Colony in particular, cannot, in the
opinion of this House, operate otherwise than injuriously on the Trade and
prosperity thereof; affording at the same time no corresponding benefit to our
fellow subjects in Great Britain.

3. Retolved, That the construction of the St. Lawrence and other costly
Canals, for which Canada obtained a loan, guaranteed by the British Govern-
ment, of more than 1,500,000 Sterling, was undertaken in the confident
expectation that we should continue to enjoy in the British Markets, a pre-
ference for our Products, over those of Foreign Nations.

4. Resolved, That one great advantage expected to be derived from the
large expenditure incurred in constructing these Canals was, that the
facilities thus afforded would enable us to acquire a great portion of the
Carrying Trade of the Western States of America, but that this advantage
would be entirely surrendered to an enterprising rival nation, by the adoption
of such a change in the Imperial Navigation Laws, as would render the free
navigation of the St. Lawrence a matter of necessity.

5. Resolved, That this Province contains the elements for carrying on an
extended and prosperous trade, if based upon the industry of its inhabitants ;
the fertility of its soil, the immensity of its forests, and the great extent of its
inland navigation, all concur in pointing out Canada as one of the most
valuable appendages of the British Crown ; susceptible of affording profitable
employment to a very large portion of the redundant population of the


Mother Country, of furnishing 1 the means of Ship-building to an unlimited
extent, and of carrying on a valuable trade through its internal navigation ;
but that the extension of the principles of free trade would, in the opinion of
this House, tend to divert the Commerce of this Province to the United
States, and ultimately endanger its connexion with the British Crown.

6. Resolved, That this House duly appreciates the Act of the Imperial
Government, gth and roth Victoria, chapter 94, conferring upon this Colony,
with other British Possessions, the power to reduce or repeal certain Duties
of Customs, but is nevertheless of opinion that it is the interest of every
Colony to cultivate commercial intercourse with the Parent State, and that a
total equalization of duties would be at variance with this principle.

7. Resolved^ That this House heartily concurs in the expression contained
in the nth paragraph of a Protest made in the British House of Peers on the
third reading of the Bill for the repeal of the Corn Laws, which, together
with the Address of this House, at its last Session, on the subject of Wheat
and Flour, fully embraces and ably advocates the views now entertained by
this House on this subject : " n. Because the removal of differential duties
" in favour of Canadian Corn is at variance with the Legislative encourage-
"ment held out to that Colony by Parliament, on the faith of which the
"Colonists have laid out large sums on the improvement of their internal
" navigation ; and because the removal of protection will divert the traffic of
"the interior from the St. Lawrence and the British Ports of Montreal and
" Quebec, to the Foreign Port of New York ; thus throwing out of employ-
" ment a large amount of British Shipping, severing the Commercial interests
" of Canada from those of the Parent Country, and connecting those interest*
"most intimately with the United States of America."

8. Resolved, That the substance of the foregoing Resolutions be embodied
in an Address to Her Majesty.

Commissioners of the Peace for the London District

James Mitchell, Joseph Ryerson, Thomas Bowlby, Mahlon Burwell, G. C.
Salmon, James Hamilton, James Graham, James Racey, Leslie Patterson, Ira
Schofield, Henry Warren, John Bostwick, John Hatch, Solomon Lossing, J.
W. Powell, William Wilson, Andrew Dobie, E. A. Talbot, Duncan McKenzie,
Henry White, James McKenlay, Isaac Draper, Jacob Potts, J. Kirkpatrick,
Duncan Campbell, Henry Carroll, John Waddell, Gilbert Wrong, Samuel
Edison, John McDonald, Duncan Warren, William Robinson, John G. Losee,
John Burdick, John Scatcherd, Benjamin Wilson, Charles Prior, John Brew-
ster, Peter Hamilton, Colin McNelledge, Captain A. Drew, Major J. Berwick,
James Hutton, Peter Carroll, James Ingersoll, John Burwell, Robert Grey
Kirkland, Alexander Richardson, Roswell Mount, Joseph B. Clench, James


Nevills, Samuel Eccles, William Young, Colonel Alexander Whaley Light,
John Warren, Captain R. Dunlop, Edward Buller, Captain Philip Graham,
Christopher Beer, Thomas Radcliffe, Edward Ermatinger, J. Crysler, John
McFarlane. Captain Robert Johnsn, Eliakim Malcolm, Benjamin Springer,
John Boyce, William Gordon, John Philip Currain, Walter McKenzie, Henry
Allison, R. Noble Starr. Omitted in first list by mistake Hon. Thomas
Talbot, Peter Teeple (Oxford), Francis L. Walsh (Vittoria), William Wilson

Appointed in 1833 Bela Brewster Brigham, John O'Neil.

Teachers of Western District Grammar School at Sandwich :*

Mr. William Merrill, Rev'd Alexander Mclntosh, Mr. Alexander Pringl,
Mr. David Robertson (1824 to 1828), Mr. William Johnson (1828 to 1840)
Albert P. Salter (from 1841 to 1846).

School Inspectors or Superintendents under Act of 1841 for
Western District*

Charles Elliott, Judge W. D. Court, 1842 to 1844.
George Duck Jr. 1844 to 1847.

Robrt Reynolds 1847 to 1849.

fudges of Western District Court , with dates of appointment.*

Thomas Harffy, 9 July, 1794.

Prideaux Selby, i January, 1800.

Robert Richardson, 12 June, 1807.

William Berczy, 5 April, 1826.

Charles Eliot, 30 November, 1832.

Alexander Chewett, 26 May, 1845.

Surrogate Judges, Western District.*

Hon. James Baby, 1793 or 4.

Walter Roe, 1796.

Richard Pollard 1801.

William Hands, 1824.

John Alexander Wilkinson, 1836.

*The corresponding officials for the London district have appeared in
former pages.


The Appendices are not indexed, but names contained in them may readily
be found under their appropriate headings. Colonel Thomas Talbot's name
appears so constantly throughout the book that it is unnecessary to include it
in the Index.

Ackland, Judge, 144-6.

Ackland, Gideon, 147, 226.

Acklyn, Squire, 226.

Adams, Edward, 244-6.

Adams, family, 264.

Airey, Sir George, 7, 232.

Airey, Richard, (Col.) (Lord), 154-

5-7-9, 161, 177, 222, 231-2, 291-2,

Airey, Julius, 159, 161, 211, 222,

Airey, Mrs., (afterwards Lady),


Alexander, Mr., 158.
Alexander, John, 287.
Allen, Judge, 243.
Allen, Rev. D., 276.
Allen, Thomas, 279.
Allworth, A. J., 232-4-6-7.
Allworth, Rev.W. H., 281.
Anderson, David, 212.
Anderson, Dr., 244-7-8.
Andrews, Richard, 259, 282, 287.
Angus & Birrell, 244.
Anne, schooner, 209-11-12-13.
Applegarth, Mr., 121.
Arkell, family, 170-2.
Arkell, William, 172, 257.
Arkell, Thomas, 172, 234, 287.
Armand, de la Richardie, Rev., 274.
Armstrong, A. S., 248.

Arthur, Sir George, 229.

Askin, Col. J. B., 124, 144-5-6, 163,

173, 203, 214, 243-8, 299.
Askin, John H. L., 146.
Askins, The, 149.
Ault, John, 263.
Aylmer, Lord, 159, 232, 261.

Baby, ., 18, 34, 51, 74, 161, 227,


Baby, Hon. James, 151, 161.
Baby, F. and C., 221.
Baby, W. L., 157, 213.
Backhouse, Col. and family, 60, 80,

84, 122, 260.

Backus, Stephen, 37, 270, 185.
Backus's, 107.
Bagot, Sir Charles, 247-8.
Baker, 220, 261.
Baker, Elder, 281.
Baldwin, Dr. W. W., 45, 112, 192,

Baldwin, Hon., Robt., 112, 192-3-

6-9, 20 1, 240-8
Balkwill, John, 246, 250-1.
Ball, 211.
Bannerman, 99.

Bannerman, Sir George, 116, 298.
Barber, John, 37, 256, 284, 302-3.
Barclay, Capt., 58, 61, 66.
Barnes, Jonas, 119, 238.



Barto, 85.

Barwick, Major, 146, 228.

Barwick, Hugh, 146, 208.

Basden, Capt., 72.

Bate, N. W., 240.

Bathurst, Earl, 92-4-5, 105.

Battersby, Lieut., 208.

Bayley, Rev. B., 286.

Bazley, 85.

Beals, Major, 228.

Beauprie, John, 236.

Becher, H . C. R., 146, 226, 148, 299.

Bedford, 227.

Beemer, John, 122.

Bell, Mr., 73.

Bell, Capt., 321.

Belton, Rev. S., 278.

Benedicts, 256.

Benners, 260.

Bennett, Holton, 251, 278.

Berdans, 257.

Berett, Rev. T., 299.

Best, 256, 263.

Bidwell, Mr., 198, 200.

Bierce, 220.

Bigelow, 120, 237.

Bird, 37, 45.

Birrell & Co., 244-9.

Black, Mr., 106.

Blackburn, Josiah, 242.

Blackhouse, Capt., 60.

Blackwood, James, 234-5, 251, 298.

Blackwood, Andrew and Robert,

234, 257.
Blake, Rev. D. E., Hons. W. H.,

Edw. and S. H., 140, 289.
Blue, John, 295.
Blue, Archibald, 265.
Bonnell, Mr., 77.
Borbridge, 263.
Bostwick, Henry, 212.
Bostwick, Rev. Gideon, 36.
Bostwick, Col. John, 36-7, 53-5-6,

69, 74-8, 82-3-4, 1 06, 114, 137,
144, 171-2, 203, 224, 228, 258, 270.

Bostwick, John, Jr., 212.

Bostwick, Misses, 290.

Boswell, Rev. E. J., 140.

Boughner, John, 257.

Boughners, 257.

Boulton, James, 145.

Boulton, H. J., 193.

Bowen, Major, 69.

Bowes, 262.

Bowlby's, 257.

Bowman, Dr. D. J., 175.

Bowyer, Rev. R. C., 27.

Boyd, Elder, 282.

Boyer, Rev. R. C., 273.

Bradley, Colonel, 214, 219.

Brant, Joseph, 12, 16, 17, 20.

Bray, Elder, 28*.

Brebeuf, 2.

Breen, Lieut., 208.

Breffney, 7.

Brigham, B. B., 37, 45, 51, 74, 176.

Brock, Sir Isaac, 47, 50-55, 66-7-9,
70-1, 96-7, 151, 189, 228, 274.

Broderick, Capt., 222.

Brooks, Thos., 121.

Brough, Rev. C. C., 273.

Brough, family, 289.

Brown, John, 12.

Brown, General, 84.

Brown, Hon. George, 252.

Brown, Gordon, 242.

Brown, Dugald, 257.

Brown, Rev. Charles, 273.

Browne, Capt., 214, 216, 217.

Bruce, Dr., 195.

Buchanan, Mr., 106.

Buchanan, Hon. Isaac, 233.

Buchanan, Isaac, (N. Yarm'th), 228.

Buchanans, 259.

Buckingham, Marquis of, 8.

Bullens, 289.

Bullock, Lieut., 64.



Bostwick, Gideon, 144.

Burdick, 77, 84.

Burdick, Freedom,' 77, 84.

Burke, Rev. Father, 275.

Burleigh, 148.

Burnham, Rev. Mark, 133-4-5-6-7,
273-4, 280.

Burnham, Hon. Z., 136.

Burwell, Col. Mahlon and family,
38, 67-8, 74-6-7, 96-7, 1 06, iio-n,
113 to 116, 121-3, 134-8, 144-7, iS*.
160, 174, 189, 193-6, 225, 246,
256, 271, 284-8-9, 293-4, 3 01 -

Burwell, John, 176, 204.

Burwell, James, 256.

Burwell, Samuel, 256, 298.

Bury, Wm., 265.

Busbee, Mr., 286.

Buscerk, Mr., 227.

Butler, Lt. Col., 74.

Butlers, 275.

Caddy, John H., 251
Cadillac, 3.
Call, Enos, 170, 279.
Caldwell, Capt., 85.
Cameron, Ewen, 257, 284.

Campbell, , 257, 284.

Campbell, Dugald, 99.
Campbell, Sir Alex., 244.
Campbell, Elder D., 282.
Campbell, Colonel, 79, 81.
Campbell, Miss, 290.

Campeau, , 274.

Campion, Rev. Jas. W., 274.
Carfrae, Robt., 139, 149.
Carling, Thomas, 121.
Carling, Sir John, 121-2.
Caroline, steamer, 202-7-8, 20.
Carpenter, 36.
Carroll, Abraham, 139.
Carroll, Capt., 77.
Carroll, Peter, 152.
Carroll, Rev. Father, 276.

Cascaddens, 261.

Casey, Geo. E., 256.

Cassick, Thos., 246.

Caughell, John, 260.

Caughell, David, 289.

Caughell, family, 290.

Caulfield, Rev. St. Geo., 274.

Chadwick, Mr., 134.

Chambers, Capt., 51-4, 66-9, 84.

Champlain, 2.

Charlevoix, 3, 15, 24, 183.

Charltons, 163.

Charmonel, Bishop, 276.

Chase, 206, 212.

Chaumonot, 2.

Cheeseman, Adjt., 221.

Chisholm, Dr., 138, 147.

Chisholm, Lawrason, 244.

Chrysler. James, 175, 226, 258.

Chute, Elder, 282.

Chutes, 260.

Clarence, Duke of, 23.

Claris, Geo. T., 203-4.

Claris, John, 249.

Clarke, Albert, 227.

Clarke, Rev. W. F., 281.

Clench, Joseph B., 243.

Cleverly, Fred, 146, ao8.

Cline, Jacob, 263.

Clines, 263.

Clunas, 263.

Colborne, Sir John, 96-8. 112, 159,

1 63-4- 7, 176, 191-2-3.
Coleman, Capt., 72.
Collins, Sergeant, 85.
Collins, C., 220.
Collins, H. E., 279.
Collins, 190-1.
Coltman, Widow, 145.
Colton, R., 269.
Comfort, Stephen, 235.
Comfort, Hiram, 235.
Cooper, Sir Astley, 112.
Corbett, 82.



Cornishes, The, 149.

Cornish, W. K., 144-5, 2 4 6 -

Cornish, Frank, 145.

Couche, Dep. Com. Gen'l, 69.

Cowley, Miss, 173.

Cowley, Joseph, 242.

Coyne, Henry, 100-6, 285.

Coyne, William, 234, 252, 280.

Coyne, James, 234, 280.

Craddock, Miss, 173.

Craig, 249.

Crandell, Elder, 281.

Crandell, Jeremy, 302.

Crane, George, 36, 306.

Crane, Anthony, 36.

Crane, Mr. and Mrs , 287.

Crawdon, Wm., 280.

Crawford, Mr., 134.

Crinnon, Rev. Father, 276.

Cronyn, Bishop, 140-1-2-3-9, 159,

271-3, 290.

Cronyn, Verschoyle, 142, 251.
Crooks, Hon. James, 294.
Crossetts, 263.
Crouse, Dr., 175.
Cruikshank, Mr., 141.
Crutchley, General, 293.
Cullen, Rev. John, 275.
Cumberland, Duke of, 23-5-6-7-9, 33
Cunningham, C., 227.
Curran, Col., 140-2.
Curran, J. P., 146.
Currie, 157.

Curtis, J. Thomas, 120, 279, 280.
Curtis, Capt., 77.

Dalzell, Col., 144.
Darling, 149.
Davidson, John, 227.
Davis, 238.
Davis, Capt. R., 213.
Davis, John, 273.
Decow, Jacob, 257.
Defields, Joseph, 262.

DeLaroche, Daillon, 2.

Delaware Castle, 17.

Dewar, Thos., 99.

Dickson, 83.

Dingman, 148.

Dixon, Capt., 55.

Dixon, John, 82-7.

Dixon, T. C., 246-9, 252.

Doan, J., 227.

Doan, J. G. and wife, 227-8.

Dobbie, G. and A., 263.

Dockstader, 83.

Dodd, John, 237.

Dodd, James, 279, 280.

Dodge, Colonel, 213.

Dollier de Casson, 3.

Dolsens, 36.

Dolsen, J. and M., 17.

Donnelly, Dr., 147, 156.

Doolittles, 260.

Dorchester, Lord, 13, 59.

Dougall, James, 221.

Dougall, J. J., 224.

Douglas, Sergeant, 72.

Douglas, John, 99.

Douglas and Warren, 244.

Dowland, Sergeant, 77.

Downie, Rev. Father, 141, 275.

Drake, Roderick, 72.

Drake, Wm., 83, 279, 280.

Drake, Benj., 119, 254-5.

Drake, Richard, 120.

Drake, Daniel, 120, 287.

Drake, James W., 287.

Draper, Hon. W. H., 248.

Drew, Capt., 207-8.

Drummond, Gen'l Sir G., 70-2-5-6-9,


Drummond, Alex., 147.
Du L'hut, 3.
Duck, 211, 220.
Duggan, John, 248.
Duncombe, Dr. C. and family, 113,

120, 173, 1 88, 194-5-6, 202 to 207,

225-6-8-9, 259.



Buncombe, Dr. E. and family, 120,

149. X 7S i94 207, 234-6.
Duncombe, David, 194.
Dunlop, Dr., 93, 304-9-10.
Dunn, Hon. Mr., 199.
Durfee, 208.
Durrant, Rev. J., 281.
Dyer, Miss, 286.

Eastabrook, Joseph, 152.

Eastwood, Elder, 281-2.

Eberts, Capt., 267.

Ebbs, Rev. E., 281.

Eccles, S. and family, 170-1-2-3-4,


Edison, Thos. A., 262.
Edison, Samuel, 263.
Edmonds, Miss, 290.
Edmondson. John, 280.
Edward, Duke of Kent, 10, 13,


Edward, Mr., 139.
Edwards, Mor'v'n M., 17, 282.
Elgin, Lord, 248, 251-2.
Ellesmere, Lady, 12.
Elliott, Colonel, 56, 214.
Elliott, Capt., 221.
Elliott, Judge Wm., 243, 290.
Elliott, George, 256.
Elliott, Rev. F. Gore, 273.
Ellison, J., R. and F., 259.
Ermatinger, E. and F., 117, 133,

164, 171, 206-10-12-26-34-41-58,

Ermatinger, Capt. and family, 210-

Evans, Wm., 121.
Evans, Sirde Lacy, 210.
Evans, Rev. F., 273.
Ewart, John, 139.

Farlane, J. M., 285.
Farley, Ann, 147.

Farley, James, 246-8.
Farnham, 235-6.
Ferguson, 257-9.
Ferguson, Rev. Geo., 278.
Ferrin, Samuel, 280.
Finch's Mills, 79.
Finlay, J. P., 257.
Finlay, Philip, 257.
Finnis, Capt., 58.
Fisher's Glen, 80.
Fitzgerald, Capt., 16.
Fitzgerald, Mr., 134.
Fitzgibbon, Colonel, 201.
Fleming, James, 36, 83, 308.
Flood, Rev. R., 258, 273, 289.

Flood, John, 273.

Forbes, Alex., 99.

Ford, Thomas, 99.

Forsyth, 191.

Foster, Geo., 121.

Fowler, Levi, 256-7.

Francis, Capt. 83.

Franklin, Dr., 157.

Franklins, 262.

Fraser, Simon, 59.

Fraser, Mr., 158.

Fraser, Rev. W., 276.

Fraser, Rev. John, 277, 288.

Freeman, 187.

French, 290.

Fullerton, Mathews, 263.

Galbraith, 157.

Galbraith, Walter, 75.

Galinee, 3.

Ganson, Elisha S., 255.

Gardiner, Thomas, 100, 285

Gardiner. Singleton, 100.

Gardner, Lieut., 63.

Garnsey, Samuel, 256.

Garrett, 212.

Geary, Wm., 139.

Geeris, Wm., 121.

George III., 19, 23, 28, 59, 315.



George IV., 192.

Georgina, 19.

Gibbins, Mr., 250.

Gibbons, James, 262.

Gilbert, R. and sons, 259, 289.

Gilbert, Ira, 256.

Gilbert, David, 257.

Gilbert, Dr., 175.

Gillies, Archibald, 99, 102-3.

Gillies, John, 99, 103.

Givens, Colonel, 16, 19, 56.

Girens, James, Judge, 147, 248, 289.

Glasgow, Capt., 214-15.

Glasgow, 126.

Glass, Sheriff, 286.

Glegg, Major, 55-6-9.

Glenelg, Lord, 196-8, 200.

Goderich, Lord, 192-3.

Going, Dr. H., 244.

Goodhue, Hon. G. J., 120, 138-9,

148-9, 246-7, 252, 299.
Goodhue, Dr. J. C., 120, 139, 175,


Gooding, Charles, 121.
Gordon, Capt., 208.
Gore, F., Lieut. Governor, 44-47,

91-6-7, 188-9, i9 304-
Gould, Anson, 235.
Gourlay, Robt., 190.
Gowan, O. R., 280.
Graham, 157.
Grame, Lieut., 73.
Grant, Chas., Sr., 220.
Grant, Commodore, 188.
Granville, Lord, 32.
Gray, Lieut., 16.
Green, 80, 288.
Grey, John, 121, 350.
Grey, John, Jr., 121.
Grey, Foilet, 121.
Grey, Lord, 155.
Griffin, Edw., 203-4.
Griffin, Sanders, 203-4.
Griffin, Gilbert, 292.

Griffon, The, 3.
Grogan, Capt., 145.
Groves, Constable, 148.
Guernsey, 23.
Guest, Thomas, 121.
Gumes, John, 121.
Gunn, Geo., 99.
Gunn, W. & Co., 244.
Gunne, Rev. John, 273.
Gunns, 263.
Gzowski, Sir Casimir, 236.

Haekstaff, C. H., 242.

Hagerman, Solicitor-General, 193.

Haggert, Neil, 99.

Haight, 235, 175.

Haleys, 263.

Hall, 77, 264.

Halton, Major, 46, 66, 109.

Hambly, Mr., 37.

Hamilton, Lieut.-Col., 76.

Hamilton & Warren, 120-21, 134,
174, 234, 258.

Hamilton, James, 120-23, 2 34 2 48>

2 55> *99-

Hamilton, Hon. John, 120, 286.
Hamilton, Henry, 149, 246.
Hamilton, Rev. John, 278.
Hamiltons, 257.
Hancks, Lieut., 55.
Handy, General H. S., 209, 220.
Hanover, King of, 24-29.
Hannah, Wm., 284.
Hanvey, Daniel, 175.
Hardinge, Lord/296.
Hardy, Joseph, 121.
Harris, 146-9, 257.
Harris, John, 124, 144-5, 2 8> 2 43~4

Harris, Mrs. Amelia, 66, 79, 131,

144, 291-2-5.
Harris, Sarah B., 144.
Harris, Helen V., 144-5.
Harris, Eliza, 292.



Harris, Elder, 281.

Harrison, General, 57-8, 61-4, 74,

223, 282.

Harrison, William, 227.
Haskett, William, 121.
Hatches, 262.
Hatt, 52.

Hawkesworth, 263.
Hay, Mr., Sec. 95.
Head, Sir F. B., 143, 196 to 201,


Hennepin, 3.
Henry, Chas., 138,
Henry, George, 276.
Hess, John, 260.
Heward, 52, 56.
Hickie, Rev. John, 273.
"Hickory, Colonel," 158, 168, 255.
Highs, 262.

Hincks, Sir F., 112, 241.
Hitchcock, 206.
Hobart, Lord, 28-9, 30-2-3-4, 88,

92, 104, 265, 313.
Hobson, Rev. W. H., 273.
Hodge, Thomas, 234, 239.
Hodgkinson, Mr., 147, 176, 220.
Hodgkinson, George, 163.
Hodgkinson, T., 242.
Hodgkinson, B., 242, 254.
Holland, Rev. H., 273, 299.
Hollywood, 263.
Holmes, Capt., 72-3.
Holmes, Samuel, 218.
Holmes, Marcus, 246.
Holmes, Major, 250.
Hope, Hon. Adam, 233, 240.
Hope and Hodge, 234, 239.
Hope, Birrell & Co., 244.
Hope, Charles, 245.
Hopkins, Elder, 282.
Horner, Thos., 38, 194.
Horton, William, 243-4.
Horton, Edward, 243-4, 2 98.
Hortons, 257.

Handley, Major, 219.

House, 262.

Hovey, M., 126.

Howard, Thos., 121.

Howey, Thos., 121.

Howey, James, 121.

Harrison, Dr., 132, 186, 269.

Hughes, Judge D. J., 145-9, 22O >

246, 252.
Hull, General, 49, 52-3-5, 68, 71,

86, 213, 223.
Hume, Joseph, 196-7-8.
Hume, Dr., 221.
Hunter, Lieut. General, 33, 188.
Hunter, Jeffry, 158, 184, 231, 297-9,

Hunter, Mrs., 297-9.
Hutchisons, 261.
Hyman, E. W., 246.

Ingersoll, Chas., 80, 123.
Ingersoll, James, 228.
Innes, Sir James, 116, 234.

Jackson, Rev. J., 278.

James, C. C., 61.

Jameson, Vice-Chancellor, 178.

Jameson, Mrs., 131, 178 to 188, 231,.

273. 289,311.

Jamieson, Rev. Andrew, 273.
Jannette, F. , 221.
Jenkins, Thos., 263.
Jennings, John, 138.
Johnson, Sir Wm., 12.
Johnston. Capt., 73.
Johnston, Mr., 156.
Joliet, 3.

Jones, Stuart, 145.
Jones, Capt., 224.
Jung, Michael, 282.

Kains, W. K., 234.
Kaye, O. C., Lister 7.
Kearney, L. C., 12, 240, 254.


Keir, A. and T., 248.

Kempt, Sir James, 154.

Kent, Duke of, 10, 23, 27-8-9.

Kents, 149.

Kent & Southwick, 234.

Kerr, John, 99.

Kerr, Thos., 147.

Kerr, Capt., 203.

Kerr, Geo., 203, 219, 220.

Keys, Robt., 121.

Killaly, Hon. H. H., 242-6-7-8-251.

Kilsall, Lieut., 214.

Kingsford, 213, 219.

Knights, 257.

Labatt, Mr., 173.

Labatt, family, 289.

Labouchere, Mr., 185.

Ladd, Alvro, 285.

Ladd, Lemuel, 285.

Ladd, Phural, 285.

Lafontaine, 248.

Laing, Joseph, 235.

Lampman, Peter, 220.

Lampman, Rev. A., 273.

Landon, Elder, 281.

Lanes, 261.

Langan, E., 237-8.

Lapenotiere, Mr., 208.

LaSalle, 3.

Lawless, L., 148.

Lawrason, L., 148, 228, 8, 252, 299.

Lawrason & Chisholm, 244.

Lawrence, Geo., 120.

Lawton, Geo., 228, 249.

Learn, Jesse, 204.

Lee, Dr., no, 147.

Lee, Hiram D., 246.

Lee, James, 287.

Lees, The, 149, 251.

Lefroy, Capt,, 292-3.

Leitch, 99.

Leonard, Hon. E., 224-5-6, 244-5,

Leonard, family, 225.

Lennox, Lady Sarah, 189.

Leslie, Capt., 221.

Leslie, John, 289.

Lewis, Capt., 220-1.

John Lewis. 289.

Lewis, Frank, 121.

Lewis, Benjamin, 121.

Lewis, A. B., 163.

Lewis, Barnabas, and sons, 163.

Light, W. S., 146-208.

Lindop, T. L., 175.

Lindsay, Lieut. -Col., 22.

Lindsay, Chas., 219.

Lister, Kaye, 7.

Little, Col., 267.

Littlehales, Sir E. B., 16-17-18-19-20.

Livingstone, Samuel, 263.

Livingstone, Wm., 264, 289.

Lock, Wm. H., 280.

Locker, Thomas, 255.

Loder's, 155, 176.

Long. Marshal, 84.

Long, Mr., 135.

Lount, 201-3.

Love, Col., 220.

Love, Alex., 233-277.

Lowe, Miss, 290.

Luke, 173.

Lyman, Moore & Co., 244.

Lynn, 227.

Lyon, W. B. , 203.

Lyon, Nathan, 261.

Mabee, Simon, 83.

Mack, Rev. F., 273.

Maitland, Sir P., 94, 151, 189,


Maitland, Lady Sarah, 151, 189.
Maitland, Colonel, 177, 214-15-16,


Malcolm, 84-5-6.
Malcolm, Eliakim, 204.
Mallory, Benajah, 82-6, in.
Mallory, Captain, 226.



Mandeville, David, 37, 120, 172.

Markle, A., 80.

Marlatt, Daniel, 203.

Marlatt, John, 260.

Marrs, 260.

Marr, David, 204.

Marsh, Elder, 282.

Martin, Wm., 174.

Mathews, Thos., 75.

Mathews, Capt., 111-14-15-16, 123,


Mathews, Edw., 246.
Mathews, Mr., 252.
Medcalf, Lieut., 76.
Meeks, 212, 217, 257.
Menzie, John, 99, 101.
Meredith, J. W. C., 143
Meredith, Sir W. R., 143.
Meredith, Justice, 143.
Merrick, Levi, 139.
Merril, Elder, 281.
Metcalfe, Lord, 240.
Millard, Daniel, 124.
Millards, 257.
Miller, John, 120.
Miller, Edwin, 218.
Miller & Kent, 170.
Mills, 221, 259.
Miller, N. and Hon. D., 265.
Mills, Rev. Father, 275.
Mills, Elder, 281.
Mitchell, Judge, 124, 144-5, 243,


Mitchell, White &, 237, 275.
Mitchells, 262.
Mockeridge, Rev. Jas., 273.
Moffat, Mr., 134.
Montross, Silas, 80.
Mooney, Wm., 121.
Moore, Elias, 230, 240.
Moore, M. T., 238.
Moore, Dr., 244.
Morgan, H. J., 145.
Morley, Rev. Mr., 273.

Morrill, Simeon, 246.
Morrison, Dr., 195, 201.
Morse, Corny., 221.
Mortimer, Rev. A., 273.
Mount, Roswell, 140, 152-6-7.
Mountain, Bishop, 275.
Mountcashel, Earl of, 265.
Mountjoy, 246.
Muckle, John, 83.
Muir, Major, 84.

Munro, George, 99, 100-1-2 3-4.
Munro, James, 122.
Munro, Sheriff, 257.
Munroe, Mr., 160.
Murray, Sir George, 191.

McArthur, General, 81-3-4-5-6.
Macbeth, George and family, 231-2,

McCann, Hugh, 141.
McCarton, Thos., 218.
McCausland, A. and J., 260.
McClary, John and family, 264.
McColl, Thos. and S., 99.
McColl, Nicoll, 257.
McColl, Dugald, 257.
McComb, steamer, 209.
McConnells, 260.
McConnell, Shook, 282.
McCormacks, 216.
McCormack, Capt., 147, 208.
McCormack, Wm., 217.
McCrea's, 72.
McDermonds, 260.
McDermond, Elder, 280.
McDiarmid, Finlay, 40, 99.
McDonald, Sir J. A., 244.
McDonald, Sandy, 310.
McDonnell, John, 45, 52-3-5-6, 274.
McDonnell, Bishop, 274-5
McDougall, Mr., 125.
McDougall, John, 99, 276
McDougall, Colin, 99.
McEwen, D. and J., 99.



McFadden, 149.
McFee, Daniel, 237.
McGregor, Gregor. 40, 99.
McGregor, Lieut., 72-3.
McGregor, Peter, 138-9.
McGregor, Duncan, 201.
McGugan, Donald, 99.
Mclntosh, Rev. A., 139, 140, 270-1-

2, 287.

Mclntyre, Daniel, 257.
Mclntyre, Ross and, 237.
Mclntyres, 260.
McKay, Angus, 99, 276.
McKay, John, 233, 255,
McKay, William, 233-6, 255.
McKay, Mrs. and Miss, 237.
McKeaud and Bell, 249.
McKee, Colonel, 18, 56.
McKeon, Capt., 219.
McKellar, Peter, 99, 101-4-6.
McKellar, Sheriff, 99, 101.
McKellar, Rev. D., 276.
McKenney, Doyle, 204.
McKenney, Richard, 228.
McKenzie, W. Lyon, 113-14-15-20-

158, 162-3, 191-2-3-4-6-7-8, 201-2-3-


McKenzie, Murdock, 171-2-4,252-4.
McKenzie, George, 174, 257.
McKenzie, Duncan, 176.
McKenzie, the explorer, 14.
McKenzie, Rev. Donald, 276.
McKilligan, Rev., 233, 276-7.
McKindley, James, 99, 276.
McKinnon, Rev., 277.
McLachlin, A., 163.
McLean, Alex., 146.
McLeod, "General," 214-15-19.
McLeod, 208.
McLemans, 75.
McLoughlin, Michael, 138.
McLoughlin, John, 148.
McManus, Patrick, 138.
McMillan, 45.

McMillan, Rev. D., 276.
McNab, Andrew, 106.
McNab, Sir Allan, 203-4-7-8, 220.
McNaughton, Donald, 99, 276.
McNeal, Archibald, 119, 238, 275
McNeal, Hugh, 237, 275.
McPherson, 126.
McPherson, Mrs., 231.
McPyerson, D. and H., 264.
McPherson, Rev. Lachlin, 277.
McQueen, Major, 72, 256-7.

Napier, Sir Chas., 8.

Neals, 75.

Neff, Peter J., 263.

Nelles, 16.

Nevills, Major, 72, no, 153, 172-6,

203, 220-4, 2 79 280.
Nevills, Miss, 172.
Nichol, Lt.-Col., 46-8, 50-3-6, 69,

81, in.

Nichol, George, 84.
Nichol, Mrs. R. B., 237.
Niles, W. H., 242.
Niles, Mr., 252.
Nixon, Walter, 139.
Northumberland, Duke of, 47.
Norvall, John, 244.
Notman, Mr., 241-9.

Oakes, Garrett, 27, 123,

O'Brien, Joseph, 121.

O'Brien, Dennis, 138,141-9,177,233


O'Dwyer, Rev. Father, 275.
O'Flynn, Rev. Father, 275.
O'Neal, John, 141-4, 176.
O'Neil, Wm., 121.
Orchards, 257.

O'Reilly and Newcombe, 240.
O'Reilly, James, 7.
Orr, Major, 208.
Osgoode, Chief Justice, 31.

Page, Jesse, 75.


Palmer, 77.

Papineau, 197-8, 209.

Parish, Thomas, 217-18.

Parish, David, 237, 241, 255.

Parkes, 149.

Parke, William, 124.

Parke, Thomas, 139, 230, 240-1-4-8.

Parke, Samuel, 144.

Parke, E. J., 244.

Parkins, ex-Sheriff, 307.

Parkinson, R., 142.

Partridge, Mr., 298.

Patterson, Col. Leslie, 74-5-6, 106,

134, 270.

Paterson (piper), 103.
Patterson, D., 276.
Pauls, 235.

Paul, Anson, 174, 225.
Paul, Eltham, 174.
Paul and Rhykert, 235.
Payne, Esau, 203.
Paynes, 257.
Peacey, Wm., 172-3.
Pearce, 37, 106-7, XI 9> 2 7 289.
Penhale, Richard, 259, 287.
Penwarden, 177.
Perley, A., 227.
Perley, Colonel, 228.
Perry, Capt., (Commodore) 58, 61.
Petrie, Rev. Geo., 273.
Phalen, John, 121.
Phillips, Dr., 214.
Phillpot, 257.
Pickering, Joseph, 124 to 132, 171,


Pickle, Elder, 281.
Pollard, Rev. R., 270.
Pontiac, 18.
Porter, Maj.-Gen'l, 82.
Portland, Lord, 13.
Portman, Hon. M. B., 145.
Pounds, 261.

Powell, Chief Justice, 89, 90 to 93.
Prevost, Sir Geo., 50-2-5, 65, 75.

Price, Samuel, 172, 258-9.

Prince, Col., 196, 211, 214, 219, 221-


Pritchards, 263.
Proctor, General H., 51-6-7-8-9, 60-

1-2-3-4-5, 7-4- 82, 223.
Proctor, Mrs., 61-4.
Proudfoot, Rev. W., 276.
Purdy, 263.
Putnams, 73.
Putnam, Mr., 205.
Pyne, Rev. A., 278.

Radcliffe, Colonel, 211-12-13.

Raglan, Lord, 296-7.

Railton, Geo., 240.

Ralph, Robt., 121.

Randolph, 14.

Randall, Mr., 287.

Rapelje, Daniel, 37, 75, 77, 86,

119, 270-5.
Rapelje, Mrs., 86.
Rapelje, Sheriff A. A., 144-5-8-9.
Ratcliff, 140.
Rathcoffey, 6.
Read, Rev. T. Bolton, 273.
Reed, 148.
Reeks, 220.
Reid, James, 141.
Reiffenstein, St. Adjt., 64.
Retter, Mr., 220.
Reynolds, Surgeon, 45.
Rhykert, Paul &, 245.
Rice, Moses, 37, 72, 75.
Richards, Mr., 135.
Richardson, Jos. and T. B., 220.
Richardson, Richard, 147, 177, 244.
Richardson, Hugh, 149.
Richardson, Major J., 50, 64.
Richardson, 211 .
Richmond, Duke of, 189.
Richmond, Duchess of, 189.
Ridout, Surveyor-General, 96-7,

115, r 49 .



Ridout, George, 200.

Rider, 99.

Riley, Isaac, 203.

Ritchie, Rev. Wm., 273.

Rob, 149.

Roberts, Lord, 9, 49, 210.

Roberts, Capt., 49, 55, 210.

Roberts, Br. Gen. E. J., 209.

Robertson, Alex., 220, 246.

Robertson, Thos., 149, 220.

Robinson, Sir J. B., 52-4-6, 93,

150-1, 190, 293.
Robinson, Sir F. B., 189.
Robinson, Hon. Peter, 54, 106, 121,

149, 150 to 162, 169, 170, 199,


Robinson, Hon. John B., 151.
Robinson, John, 83.
Robinson, Malcolm, 99.
Rodgers, Peter, 121.
Roe, Dr. J. Hill, 234.
Roe, Charles, 234.
Roe, John A., 234.
Roebuck, 198.
Rogers, 305.
Roll, Dr., 155-6, 234.
Rolph, Dr. Thomas, 54,66-7, 108-9.
Rolph, Dr. John, 54, 67, 108 to 116,

190-1-2-3-4-9, 201, 207, 292.
Rolph, Rev. Romaine, 108.
Rolph, Rev. Thomas, 108.
Rolph, George, 108.
Rolph, Sarah, 108.
Rolph, Emma, 108, 292.
Ros, Lord de, 296.
Rose, Rev. Samuel, 279.
Ross & Mclntyre, 237.
Ross, Rev., 276.
Rottenburgh, Gen. de, 60, 65.
Rouse, Elder, 282.
Rowland, Elder D. W., 282.
Russell, Prest. Peter, 188.
Russell, Peter, 139, 260.
Rutledge, Miss, 122.

Ryan, Rev. T. D., 275.

Ryerse, Samuel, 79, 122, 144, 292.

Ryerse, Mrs., 79.

Ryerse Mills, 79.

Ryerson, Col. Joseph, 37, 48, 53,


Ryerson, George, 53-5-6, 108, 278.
Ryerson, Egerton, 197, 278, 290.
Ryerson, Rev. Wm., John and

Edw. M., 278-9.

Salmon, Major, 48, 53-6, 69, 81-4,

108, 291-2.
Salmon, Mrs., 292.
Salmon, Judge, 108, 145, 291-2-3.
Salmon, Rev. Geo., 273, 292.
Salter, John, 244.
Sanders, Mr., 296-7.
Sandys, Rev. F. W., 273.
Saxton, Alex, and Wm., 204.
Saxton, John, 260-3.
Scanlan, Mrs , 238-9.
Scatchard, John, 147, 175, 246.
Scatchard, Thomas, 148-9, 246.
Schofields, 149.
Schofield, Ira, 148.
Schooleys, 260.
Scott, Chief Justice, 46, 151.
Scott, George, 120.
Scott, Mr. 292.
Scott, Rev. John, 276.
"Scott's" 252.
Schram, Peter, 148.
Seabrooks, 289.
Seaton, Lord, 192.
Secord, David, 37, 75.
Selby, Mr., 45, 47.
Selkirk, Lord, 99.
Sells, John, 226.
Sells, Wm., 233, 257.
Senseman, 17, 282.
Seward, Col., 219.
Shanly, James, 146, 235.
Shaw, Bela, 120, 175, 224-5, 234.



Shaw, Aeneas, Maj.-Gen'l, n.
Sheaffe, Maj.-Gen'l, 67-8.
Shenich, Mrs., 205.
Shepherd, T. W., 246.
Sheppard, Edmund, 290.
Shepherdson, Rev. D., 278.
Sherich, 37.
Sherwood, Judge, 112.
Sherks, 263.
Sholes, 64.

Shore, Capt., 173, 203.
Shore's, 160.
Sifton, John, 121.
Sifton, Charles, 121.
Silcox, Joseph, 257, 280-1, 290.
Silcox, Revs. J. B. and E. D., 281.
Simcoe, Governor, 10 to 21-4-5-7-9,
30-2-3-5, 124, 164, 188-9, 270, 308.
Simpson, Levi, 288.
Simpson, Sir J., 297.
Sinclair, Elder, 281.
Skinner, Rev. James, 276.
Skitteewaabaa, 25-6.
Sloot, Elder, 281.
Smeit, Lieut.-Col., 84.
Smith, Dr., 176.
Smith, Mr., 60.
Smith, P., 141.

Smith, Sir D. W., 16, 18, in.
Smith, Garrett, 119, 279.
Smith, Rev. I. B., 278.
Smith, Moore & Co., 244.
Smith, " Dandy," 287.

Smith, , 257, 263-4, 298-

Smith, Col. Samuel, 189.
Southwick, Dr., 234-8, 244.
Sovereen, 109, 292-3.
Sparke, Capt., 221.
Speedy, schooner, 16.
Springer, 37, 50, 74. 296.
Spurgin, Wm., 122.
Stacey's, 280.
Staffbrds, 257.
Stanley, Lord, 185.

Stevens, 149.

Stewart, Bishop, 139, 270-1-4, 287.

Stewart, Rev. James, 273.

Stewart, Duncan, 99.

Stewart, John, 146.

Stimson, Rev. E. R., 273.

Stimson, Dr., 175.

Stimson, Miss, 148, 286.

Stokes, 263.

Stoney, Edmunds, 121.

Storor's, 272.

Storey, 37, 107, 270.

Strachan, Bishop, 136, 145, 192,

249, 270-4, 306.
Strathy, J. B., 243.
Stratton, Henry, 262.
Street, W. W., 248.
Street, Rev. G. C., 273.
Strong & Wheeler, 175.
St. George, Colonel, 51.
St. Clair, 157.
Suffel, George, 263.
Sullivan, Mr., 31.
Summers', 155.

Sutherland, General, 209-10-19.
Sutherland, William, 242.
Sutherland, Rev. W. R., 277.
Suttons, 257.
Sutton, John, Jr., 280.
Sutton, John, (Westminster), 280.
Swartz, Lewis, 156.
Swazey, Rev. Caleb, 278.
Swisher, 256.
Sydenham, Lord, 247-8.
Sydere, Ed., 288.
Sydere, Arthur, 288.
Symonds, Thos., 218.

Talbots de Malahide, 5, 9, 303.
Talbot, Lieut.-Col., Neil, 7, 23.
Talbot, Barbara, 7, 26-7.
Talbot, William, 7, 66, 169, 232.
Talbot, Hon. Freeman, 42, 121,
139, 140, 246.



Talbot, Ed. A., 121, 132, 147, 176,
186, 242, 269.

Talbot, John, 121, 147, 163, 225,

Talbots (Tipperary), 264.

Taylor (school master), 286.

Taylor, William, 287.

Teal, Asa, 263.

Tecumseh, 54-7-8, 60-5, 223.

Teeple, Peter, 122, 168.

Teeple, Pelham, 168.

Ten-Brock, John, 138, 145.

Thayer, Israel, 280.

Thebo, Capt., 221.

Thellar, Dr., (General), 209-11-12-

Theyendaneg-ea, 12, 26.

Thompson, J. and Sam, 120.

Thompson, Mr., (Pt. Stanley), 134.

Thompson, James C., 286, 288.

Thorpe, Judge, 47.

Tiffany, Mr., 265.

Tilden, 205.

Tisdale, 84.

Tomlinson, R., 212,17-18-19.

Tonty, 3.

Tovey, Rev. A., 278.

Tozer, Chas. G. A., 261.

Travers, 149.

Travers, Dr., 104.

Travers, Dr. John, 244.

Trowbridge, 149.

Trydell, Col., 248.

Turners, 257.

Turquand, Dep. Com., 69.

Turrils, 259.

Turvills, 225, 336.

Triton, ship, 10.

Tyas, Mr., 250.

Tyrrel, John, 229.

Vail, Mr., 173.
VanAllen, Capt., 221, 267
VanAllen, Mills, 264.

VanBroklyn, Mr., 225.
VanBuskirk, Mr., 227, 237.
VanBuskirk, Dr. W. C., 149.
Vandusen, Rev., 279.
VanEvery, Mr., 138, 286.
VanNorman, Mr., 235.
Vanpatters, 260.
VanRensselaer, 203, 209, 219.
Vincent, General, 56, 63.
Vining, Elder, 281.
Von Schultz, 243.


Wade, 257.
Wade, Dr., 234.
Walker, 76.
Walker, Weeden, 263.
Walker, John, 288.
Walthew, John, 175, 254.
Walthew, James, 254.
Warburton, Lieut.-Col., 62-3.
Ward, Capt., 264.
Ward, family, 289.
Warren, Mr., 114-134.
Warren, Thos. D., 147.
Warren, Douglas &, 244.
Warren, Hamilton &, 120-1, 134,

174, 234, 258.
Wastell, Rev. W. P., 281.
Waters', 181, 256, 303, 305.
Watson, James, 37, 284.
Watson, Simon Z., 44 to 47, 49, 50,

68, 69, 87, 264, 315.
Watson, Mrs. Dixie, 144.
Watson, 256.
Webb, Wm., 280.
Wegg, George, 175.
Welch, Thos., 122, 124.
Wellesley, Arthur, 8, 9, 296.
Wellington, Duke of, 8, 9, 156, 7,


Westbrook, 37, 49, 73-4-5-7, 87.
Westlake, Duncan, 259, 287.
Westmoreland, Lord, 8.
Westovers, 260.



Wetherall, Col., 248.

White and Mitchell, 237, 275.

Whitehead, G. W., 228.

Whyte, Mrs., 231.

Widdifield, 171.

Wilcocks, 47.

Wilcox, Joseph, 82, 87.

Wilkinson, Elder, 281.

William, Prince & King, 22, 154,


Williams, Titus, 53, 71.
Williams, Richard, 256.
Williams, Thomas, 216.
Williams, Samuel, 211-13-16.
Williams, Judge, 144.
Williams, Jonathan, 71,
Williams, Wynant, 122.
Williams, G. R., 221-4.
Williams, Mrs., 224.
Williams, Dr., 261.
Williams, Elder, 282.
Willis, Judge, 112.
Williston, Rev., 279.
Wills, Mr., 158.
Wilson, Capt., 74-5, 220.
Wilson, Col. Ben., 37, 72,75, 119.
Wilson, Crowell, 171, 284.
Wilson, Jeptha, 211.
Wilson, Mrs. J. H., 221-24.
Wilson, John, (Judge), 145-6, 248-9

251-2-3, 290.

Wilson, Maj.-Gen. Jas. H., 209.
Wilson, Dr., 228.

Wilson, Elder, 281.
Wilsons, 155.
Winchester, Gen'l, 57.
Wogan, 6.
Wolseley, Lord, 297.
Wood, W. R., 221.

Wood, 222.

Wood, Amasa, 256-7.

Wood, Nathan, 261.

Wood, Philo, 280.

Woodford, Sir A., 296.

Woods, Judge R. S., 146, 208, 267,

Woodward, Lieut. J. K., 206-10-12,


Woolleys, 263.
Wortley, Stuart, 185.
Wortley, Lady, 291-4, 308.
Wright, Francis, 286.
Wright, Rev. Mr., 286.
Wrong, Gilbert, 176,2 61.

Yeigh, Mrs. KateW., 150.
Yeo, Sir J., 58, 81, 292.
Yerex, J., 139, 149.
York, Duke of, 23.
Youmans, Rzv. D., 278.
Young, Lady, 7, 26-7.
Young, Sir Wm., 7.
Young, Mor. Miss., F., 17, 282.
Young, Judge, 144.

Zeisberger, 17, 282.



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