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of your excellency, whether in times like the present I ought not to be invested with equal authority over each service.

I herewith have the honor to transmit two letters, one from Captain Roberts, commanding at St. Joseph's, and the second from Mr. Dickson, a gentleman every way capable of forming a correct judgment of the actual state of the Indians. Nothing can be more deplorable than his description; yet the United States government accuse Great Britain of instigating that people to war. Is not the true cause to be found in the state of desperation to which they are reduced by the unfriendly and unjust measures of that government towards them?

On the 27th of July, 1812, Major-General Brock returned to York from Fort George, on which day, accompanied by a numerous suite, he opened the extra session of the legislature, and delivered the following speeches.

Honorable Gentlemen of the Legislative Council, and
Gentlemen of the House of Assembly.

The urgency of the present crisis is the only consideration which could have induced me to call you together at a time when public, as well as private, duties elsewhere, demand your care and attention.

But, gentlemen, when invaded by an enemy whose avowed object is the entire conquest of the province, the voice of loyalty, as well as of interest, calls aloud to every person in the sphere in which he is placed to defend his country.

Our militia have heard that voice, and have obeyed it; they have evinced, by the promptitude and loyalty of their conduct, that they are worthy of the king whom they serve, and of the constitution which they enjoy; and it affords me particular satisfaction, that while I address you as legislators, I speak to men who, in the day of danger, will be ready to assist, not only with their counsel, but with their arms.

We look, gentlemen, to our militia, as well as to the regular forces, for our protection; but I should be wanting to that important trust committed to my care, if I attempted to conceal (what experience, the great instructor of mankind,

and especially of legislators, has discovered,) that amendment is necessary in our militia laws to render them efficient.

It is for you to consider what further improvements they still may require.

Honorable Gentlemen of the Legislative Council, and
Gentlemen of the House of Assembly.

From the history and experience of our mother country, we learn that in times of actual invasion or internal commotion, the ordinary course of criminal law has been found inadequate to secure his majesty's government from private treachery as well as from open disaffection; and that at such times its legislature has found it expedient to enact laws restraining, for a limited period, the liberty of individuals, in many cases where it would be dangerous to expose the particulars of the charge; and although the actual invasion of the province might justify me in the exercise of the full powers reposed in me on such an emergency, yet it will be more agreeable to me to receive the sanction of the two houses.

A few traitors have already joined the enemy, have been suffered to come into the country with impunity, and have been harboured and concealed in the interior; yet the general spirit of loyalty which appears to pervade the inhabitants of this province, is such as to authorize a just expectation that their efforts to mislead and deceive will be unavailing. The disaffected, I am convinced, are few-to protect and defend the loyal inhabitants from their machinations, is an object worthy of your most serious deliberation.

Gentlemen of the House of Assembly.

I have directed the public accounts of the province to be laid before you, in as complete a state as this unusual period will admit; they will afford you the means of ascertaining to what extent you can aid in providing for the extraordinary demands occasioned by the employment of the militia, and I doubt not but to that extent you will cheerfully contribute.

Honorable Gentlemen of the Legislative Council, and
Gentlemen of the House of Assembly.

We are engaged in an awful and eventful contest. By unanimity and dispatch in our councils, and by vigour in our operations, we may teach the enemy this lesson, that a country defended by free men, enthusiastically devoted to the cause of their king and constitution, can never be conquered!

The invasion of the western district by BrigadierGeneral Hull, and the artful and threatening language of his proclamation, were productive at the outset of

very unfavorable effects among a large portion of the inhabitants of Upper Canada; and so general was the despondency, that the Norfolk militia, consisting, we believe, chiefly of settlers of American origin, peremptorily refused to march. The majority of the members of the house of assembly were impressed with the same gloomy forebodings, and that body appeared by its proceedings rather to court the favor of the enemy than fearlessly to perform its duty. It was, therefore, prorogued upon passing the money bills, as no advantage could result from its remaining longer in session. The state of the province required the most prompt and decisive measures for its preservation, and Major-General Brock considered its situation at this moment as extremely critical. With the concurrence of his counsel, to whom he represented his many difficulties, he is said to have resolved on exercising martial law whenever he should find it necessary, although the house of assembly had rejected its enactment, even in a modified form. Not only among the militia was a disposition evinced to submit tamely, but five hundred in the western district sought the protection of the enemy. It is true that the people there were far removed from the seat of government, and the more subject to hostile influence, as they were principally composed of French Canadians and of the natives of the United States, or their immediate descendants; but even the Indians, who were located on the Grand River, in the heart of the province, positively refused, with a few exceptions, to take up arms; and they announced their intention, after the return of some of their chiefs from General Hull, to remain neutral, as if they wished the authorities to believe that they could be tranquil in the midst of warfare. Major-General Brock had not long administered the government of the province, but where he was individually known, and where his personal influence extended, a better sentiment prevailed; and his counter-proclamation served not only

to animate the well-disposed, but to counteract the machinations of the disaffected. The confident tone of his address to the provincial parliament was also productive of the best effects, whatever inward misgivings he might have felt; and those who were dastardly enough to join the invaders of their native or adopted country, were quickly taught to repent of their baseness and treason. And the British general's emphatic assurance to the legislature, prophetic as it proved in this contest, should not be forgotten in a future war by those Canadians who seek to preserve "the richest inheritance of this earth-a participation in the name, character, and freedom of Britons."*


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* Major-General Brock's proclamation, in answer to that of General Hull, ante.


We have mentioned that Major-General Brock had in the spring provided for the protection of Fort St. Joseph, a small British post, distant by water nearly 700 miles from York, and situate about 50 miles, also by water, to the north-east of the American island and fort of Michilimackinac, or as now often abbreviated, Mackinaw, which island is in latitude 45° 30' north, and longitude 84° 30′ west; and one of his first cares, on hearing of the declaration of the war, was to send, on the 26th of June, a notification of it to Captain Roberts, who was stationed at St. Joseph with a detachment of the 10th Royal Veteran Battalion, accompanied by orders to make an immediate attack upon Michilimackinac, if practicable; or, in the event of an attack by the Americans upon St. Joseph, to defend it to the utmost. Captain Roberts

*For a description of this island, see page 180.

"Fort Michilimackinac was built by order of the governor-general of Canada, and garrisoned with a small number of militia, who, having families, soon became less soldiers than settlers. Most of those, whom I found in the fort, had originally served in the French army.

"The fort stands on the south side of the strait which is between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. It has an area of two acres, and is enclosed with pickets of cedar wood; (thuya occidentalls;) and it is so near the water's edge, that, when the wind is in the west, the waves break against the stockade. On the bastions are two small pieces of brass English cannon, taken some years since by a party of Canadians, who went on a plundering expedition against the posts of Hudson's Bay, which they reached by the route of the river Churchill.

Within the stockade are thirty houses, neat in their appearance, and tolerably commodious; and a church, in which mass is celebrated, by a Jesuit missionary. The number of families may be nearly equal to that of the houses; and their subsistence is derived from the Indian traders, who assemble here, in their voyages to and from Montreal.—Henry's Travels, (1761,) cited ante.

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