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me to be positive upon a subject, regarding which I · am without instructions.

"Colonel Brock's Orders.

"QUEBEC, 1st September, 1807. "Notwithstanding the positive orders to the commissaries of posts in Upper Canada, to forward to Quebec periodically, every two months, statements of their accounts, Colonel Brock is sorry to find that some of the commissaries in Upper Canada, and particularly the commissary at Kingston, have evinced culpable neglect in not complying with his orders. He, therefore, adopts this public manner to express his determination of placing other persons to fill their situations, in case they continue, after this caution, inattentive to this most essential part of their duty.

"The want of specie can be no excuse for not complying with the order, as vouchers are only expected for such accounts as have been discharged; and an abstract of expenses incurred, but not actually paid, is to accompany the accounts.

"A. ORMSBY, Capt. 49th regt.

"Acting Deputy Adj.-General.”

Colonel Brock to Lieut.-Colonel J. W. Gordon.

QUEBEC, Sept. 6, 1807.

It is impossible to view the late hostile measures of the American government towards England, without considering a rupture between the two countries as probable to happen.

I have in consequence been anxious that such precautionary measures might be taken as the case seemed to justify; but his honor the president has not judged it proper to adopt any other step, than merely to order one-fifth of the militia, which amounts to about 10,000 men, to hold itself in readiness to march on the shortest notice.

The men thus selected for service being scattered along an extensive line of four or five hundred miles, unarmed and totally unacquainted with every thing military, without officers capable of giving them instruction, considerable time would naturally be required before the necessary degree of order and discipline could be introduced among them. I therefore very much doubt whether, in the event of actual war, this force could assemble in time, and become useful.

Without considerable assistance from the militia, the few regulars which might be spared from this garrison could avail nothing against the force the Americans would suddenly introduce by various roads into this province.

The Canadians have unquestionably shewn a great willingness upon this occasion to be trained, and, I make not the least doubt, would oppose with vigour any invasion of the Americans-but how far the same sentiments would actuate them were a French force to join, I will not undertake to say; at any rate, I feel that every consideration of prudence and policy ought to determine me to keep in Quebec a sufficient force to secure its safety; the number of troops that could therefore be safely detached would be small, notwithstanding a great deal might be done, in conjunction with the militia, in a country intersected in every direction by rivers, deep ravines, and lined, at intervals on both sides of the road, by thick woods.

From every information I can receive, the Americans are busily employed in drilling and forming their militia, and openly declare their intention of entering this province the instant war is determined upon; they will be encouraged to adopt this step from the very defenceless state of our frontiers; the means at my disposal are too limited to oppose them with effect in the open field, and I shall be constrained, unless his honor the president make

exertions, which I do not think him at this moment disposed to do, to confine myself to the defence of Quebec.

I have hastened the completion of the works which enclose the upper town of Quebec, and I have thought myself justified in causing a battery of eight 36-pounders to be raised sixteen feet upon the cavalier in the centre of the citadel, which will effectually command the opposite heights.

Although these remarks may be premature, I yet conceive it my duty to give his royal highness. the commander-in-chief a view of my real situation.

I must freely confess that I am unable to account for the motives which seem at present to guide the councils of this province. Voluntary offers of service have been made by numbers, on whose loyalty the utmost reliance can be placed, to form themselves into corps of cavalry, artillery, and infantry, at little or no expense to government, provided they were furnished with arms; but this liberal spirit has not been encouraged by the president.

I have the honor to report, that at a recent interview I had at Montreal* with Lieut.-Governor Gore, it was judged expedient that his excellency should assume the command in the upper province. I regretted exceedingly that I could not, with propriety, detach troops in support of the spirited exertions which will be immediately made to place that country in a respectable state of defence. He has been supplied with four thousand muskets from the king's arsenal at Quebec, and with various military stores of which he stood in need: this leaves in my possession only seven thousand muskets for the use of the militia of this province, and to supply, as far as they will go, every other emergency.

*During Colonel Brock's stay at Montreal, Mr. W. M'Gillivray, an influential partner, we believe, of the North-West Company, wrote to him on the 28th of August, 1807, that several young gentlemen of that city had proposed to him to embody themselves into a troop of cavalry.

Lieut.-General Sir James Craig, K. B., to Colonel Brock. H. M. S. Horatio, Oct. 16, 1807.

His majesty having been pleased to appoint me to the chief government of the British provinces in America, as well as to the command of his forces in these parts, I do myself the pleasure to announce to you my arrival in the river, to take these charges upon me.

Lieut.-Colonel Baynes, the adjutant-general, and Major Thornton, my secretary and first aide-decamp, will deliver you this, and will inform you of the very miserable state of my health, which obliges me to write to Mr. Dunn, to intreat that he will permit my landing to be as private as possible. Of you I must make the same request. A salute may be proper, but I beg nothing more may be done: my object must be to get to the château as speedily and with as little fatigue as possible.


EARLY in the year 1808, Colonel Brock, as we learn from his correspondence, was stationed at Montreal, doubtless in command of the troops there. These were the palmy days of the then celebrated NorthWest Company, "which for a time held a lordly sway over the wintry lakes and boundless forests of the Canadas, almost equal to that of the East India Company over the voluptuous climes and magnificent realms of the Orient." The principal partners resided at Montreal, where they formed a commercial aristocracy, and lived in a generous and hospitable manner. Few travellers who visited Canada at this period, "in the days of the M'Tavishes, the M'Gillivray, the M'Kenzies, the Frobishers, and the other magnates of the north-west, when the company was in all its glory, but must remember the round of feasting and revelry kept up among these hyperborean nabobs."* With these merchant princes, Colonel Brock appears to have lived on terms of intimacy.

Lieut.-Colonel Thornton to Brigadier Brock, at Montreal. QUEBEC, 7th April, 1808.

Your report of the state of the château at Montreal I have mentioned, but it is not thought right at present to make any considerable repairs to it. I am sorry for your being the sufferer, but I can venture

* Washington Irving's "Astoria."

† Afterwards Lieut.-General Sir William Thornton, K. C. B., &c.

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