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honorable slaughter of civilized combatants, and as eschewing the courtesies and the formalities of modern strife; but Sir Isaac Brock proved that they were to be restrained, and Tecumseh was as humane as he was brave. Moreover, we should not condemn their previous excesses without remembering the many injuries they had received. They knew from sad experience that they could place no faith in the whites, who had long considered them as legal prey, and too often treated them as the brute animals of the forest. Expelled from the coasts, and dispossessed of their hunting grounds, they had been gradually driven westward, until they had too much cause to apprehend that the cupidity of their invaders would be satisfied only with their utter extermination. "The red men are melting," to borrow the expressive metaphor of a celebrated Miami chief of the last century, "like snow before the sun," and their total extinction seems to be rapidly and irresistibly approaching. And we must not forget that the aboriginal denizens of the west were formerly numerous, moral, and happy, although they are now languishing and pining away before the inroads of civilization, until many nations have become nearly extinct; and the present degenerate scions of the last of their noble race, shorn of their power, scarcely retain even a vestige of those honorable, virtuous, and manly traits of character, for which their ancestors were once so pre-eminently distinguished. Indeed, it is melancholy to reflect, that the aborigines of both continents of America have, from their first intercourse with Europeans or their descendants, experienced nothing but fraud, spoliation, cruelty, and ingratitude.

Major-General Brock to Sir George Prevost.

YORK, September 28, 1812.

I have been honored with your excellency's dispatch, dated the 14th instant. I shall suspend, under

the latitude left by your excellency to my discretion, the evacuation of Fort Detroit. Such a measure would most probably be followed by the total extinction of the population on that side of the river, or the Indians, aware of our weakness and inability to carry on active warfare, would only think of entering into terms with the enemy. The Indians, since the Miami affair, in 1793, have been extremely suspicious of our conduct; but the violent wrongs committed by the Americans on their territory, have rendered it an act of policy with them to disguise their sentiments. Could they be persuaded that a peace between the belligerents would take place, without admitting their claim to an extensive tract of country, fraudulently usurped from them, and opposing a frontier to the present unbounded views of the Americans, I am satisfied in my own mind that they would immediately compromise with the enemy. I cannot con

ceive a connection so likely to lead to more awful consequences.

If we can maintain ourselves at Niagara, and keep the communication to Montreal open, the Americans can only subdue the Indians by craft, which we ought to be prepared to see exerted to the utmost. The enmity of the Indians is now at its height, and it will require much management and large bribes to effect a change in their policy; but the moment they are convinced that we either want the means to prosecute the war with spirit, or are negociating a separate peace, they will begin to study in what manner they can most effectually deceive us.

Should negociations for peace be opened, I cannot be too earnest with your excellency to represent to the king's ministers the expediency of including the Indians as allies, and not leave them exposed to the unrelenting fury of their enemies.

The enemy has evidently assumed defensive measures along the strait of Niagara. His force, I apprehend, is not equal to attempt an expedition across the

river with any probability of success.

It is, how

ever, currently reported that large reinforcements are on their march; should they arrive, an attack cannot be long delayed. The approach of the rainy season. will increase the sickness with which the troops are already afflicted. Those under my command are in

perfect health and spirits.

I have the honor to transmit the purport of a confidential communication* received in my absence by Brigade-Major Evans from Colonel Van Rensselaer. As your excellency's instructions agree with the line of conduct he is anxious I should follow, nothing of a hostile nature shall be attempted under existing circumstances.

D. G. O.

FORT GEORGE, September 22, 1812.

The major-general commanding returns his particular thanks to the militia for the handsome manner in which they have, on all occasions, volunteered their services for duties of fatigue, and is pleased to direct that, for the present, service for such duty shall be dispensed with.

By Order.


* This communication, of which we have no particulars, is the more singular, as Colonel Van Rensselaer commanded the advance of the American attacking party on the 13th of October, when Sir Isaac Brock lost his life. Colonel Van Rensselaer was severely wounded on that day.



"He bleeds, he falls, his death-bed is the field!
His dirge the trumpet, and his bier the shield!
His closing eyes the beam of valour speak,
The flush of ardour lingers on his cheek;
Serene he lifts to heaven those closing eyes,
Then for his country breathes a prayer, and dies!"

The Americans, burning to wipe away the stain of their discomfiture at Detroit, and apparently determined to penetrate into Upper Canada at any risk, concentrated with those views, along the Niagara frontier, an army consisting, according to their own official returns, of 5,206 men, under Major-General Van Rensselaer, of the New York militia; exclusive of 300 field and light artillery, 800 of the 6th, 13th, and 23d regiments, at Fort Niagara; making a total of 6,300 men. Of this powerful force, 1,640 regulars, under the command of Brigadier Smyth, were at Black Rock; 386 militia at the last named place and Buffalo; and 900 regulars and 2,270 militia at Lewistown, distant from Black Rock 28 miles. Thus the enemy had, along their frontier of 36 miles, 3,650 regulars and 2,650 militia.* Το oppose this force Major-General Brock, whose head quarters were at Fort George, had under his immediate orders part of the 41st and 49th regiments, a few companies of militia, amounting to nearly half these regulars, and from 200 to 300 Indians-in all about 1,500 menbut so dispersed in different posts at and between

* James' Military Occurrences.


Fort Erie and Fort George, (34 miles apart,) that only a small number was quickly available at any one point. With unwearied diligence the British commander watched the motions of the enemy; but under these circumstances it was impossible to prevent the landing of the hostile troops, especially when their parations were favored by the obscurity of the night. On the 9th of October, the brig Detroit, of 200 tons and 6 guns, (lately the U. S. brig Adams,) and the North-West Company's brig Caledonia, of about 100 tons, having arrived the preceding day from Detroit, were boarded and carried opposite Fort Erie, before the dawn of day, by Lieutenant Elliott, of the American navy, with 100 seamen and soldiers in two large boats. This officer was at this time at Black Rock, superintending the equipment of some schooners, lately purchased for the service of Lake Erie. But for the defensive measures to which Major-General Brock was restricted, he would probably have destroyed these very schooners, for whose equipment, as vessels of war, Lieutenant Elliott and 50 seamen had been sent from New York. The two British brigs contained 40 prisoners, some cannon and small arms, captured at Detroit, exclusive of a valuable quantity of furs belonging to the SouthWest Company, in the Caledonia. Joined by the prisoners, the Americans who boarded numbered 140, and the crews of the two brigs, consisting of militia and Canadian seamen, amounted to 68. After the capture, Lieutenant Elliott succeeded in getting the Caledonia close under the batteries at Black Rock, but he was compelled by a few well-directed shots from the Canadian shore, to run the Detroit upon Squaw Island. Here she was boarded by a subaltern's detachment from Fort Erie, and the Americans soon after completed her destruction by setting her on fire. Some lives were lost on this occasion, and among the Americans a Major Cuyler was killed by a shot from Fort Erie, as he was riding along the

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