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General Brock to the Earl of Liverpool."
York. Upper Canada
29th August 1812. My Lord.
Since the commencement of the War, my time has been chiefly occupied with my Military duties in various parts of the province. I have not failed regularly reporting to His Excellency the Governor in Chief what I considered essential, who I make no doubth put Your Lordship in possession of every necessary information.
The invasion of the Western District by General Hull, was productive of very unfavorable sensations among a large portion of the population, and so completely were their minds Subdued, that the Norfolk Militia, when ordered to March, peremptorily refused.
The State of the Country required prompt and vigorous measures. The Majority of the House of Assembly was likewise seized with the same apprehensions, and may be justly accused of studying more to avoid, by their proceedings incurring the indignation of the Enemy, than the honest ful-filment of their duty.I thought it my duty at this critical moment to lay before His Majesty's Executive Council, the representation of which the
enclosed is a Copy. As no one advantage could
result from their remaining longer in Session, the Legislature was immediately prorogued, upon their passing the Money Bills which leave at my disposal, for the use of the Militia, about Ten Thousand Pounds.
My Speech at the opening and close of the Session, together with the Answer of both Houses, I have the honor herewith to transmit.
I cannot hide from Your Lordship that I considered my situation at that time extremely perilous—Not only among the b. b. b. b.
Militia was evinced a disposition to submit
tamely, five hundred in the Western District having deserted their Ranks, but likewise the Indians of the Six Nations, who are placed in the heart of the Country, on the
Canadian Archives, Q. 315, P. 118.
Grand River, positively refused, with the exception of a few Individuals, taking up Arms.
They audaciously announced their intention after the return of some of their Chiefs from General Hull, to remain Neutral, as if they wished to impose upon the Government, the belief that it was possible they could sit quietly in the midst of War. This unexpected conduct of the Indians deterred many good men from leaving their families and joining the Militia, they became more apprehensive of the internal than the external enemy, and would willingly have compromised with the one, to secure themselves from the other.
I shall think it my bounden duty at some future day to call Your Lordship's attention to the absolute necessity of removing this infatuated people from their present situation. The local voice of self preservation every consideration of policy recommends the Measure-although they have changed their tone with the late Success, yet the necessity of guarding against the evil they may still commit, is not less imperious. The proclamation which General Hull published upon his
taking possession of Sandwich, tended in a great
degree to create the disposition in the inhabitants already noticed, and his emissaries were numerous and active. I. caused a Counter Proclamation to be issued, which I had the
Satisfaction to find produced immediate effect among d
the well disposed, who from that day increased in their activity and vigilance—Having declared my intention of proceeding to the Western District, with such of the Militia as might Voluntarily offer to accompany me, in a few days five hundred, principally the Sons of Veterans, whom His Majesty's munificence settled in this Country, cheerfully tendered their Service. The threatening attitude however of the enemy on other parts of the frontier obliged me to content myself with half the number, with whom I arrived in Safety on the 13th instant at Amherstburg. In no instance have I witnessed greater cheerfulness and constancy than were displayed by these Troops under the fatigue of a long journey in Boats and during extremely bad weather; and it is but justice to this little Band, to add, that their conduct throughout excited my admiration.
e. e. e.
To my Official dispatch to His Excellency the Commander of the Forces, I beg leave to refer your Lordship for my subsequent
proceedings. Among the Indians whom I found
at Amherstburg, and who had arrived from distant parts of the Country, I found some extraordinary characters.
He who attracted most my attention, was a Shawnee Chief, Tecumseh, brother to the Prophet, who for the last two years has carried on (contrary to our remonstrances) an Active Warfare against the United States-A more sagacious or a more gallant Warrior does not, I believe, exist. He was the admiration of every one who conversed with him-From a life of dissipation he is not only become in every respect abstemious, but has likewise prevailed on all his Nation, and many of other Tribes to follow his example. They appear determined to continue the contest until they obtain the Ohio for a boundary. The United States Government is accused, and I believe justly, of having corrupted a few dissolute characters, whom they pretend to consider as Chiefs, and with whom they contracted engagements, and concluded Treaties, which they have been attempting to impose on the whole Indian Race. Their determined opposition to such ficticous and ruinous pretensions, which if admitted, would soon oblige the Indians to remove beyond the Mississippi, is the true ground of their enmity against the Americans.
The jealousy with which they view the British Merchants continue their commercial intercourse with the Indians, has likewise been attended with serious inconvenience. Under the difficulties the Merchants experienced, few goods could be introduced into the interior, and their own measures, the operation of the nonintercourse, precluded even their own people from furnishing the Indians with clothing of the first necessity.
The consequence has been fatal to many. Deprived of ammunition the poor Indian was unable to provide the necessary quantity of food, or even cover his nakedness with the skins of Animals.
The Armistice, concluded between His Excellency Lieut. General Sir George Prevost, and General Dearborn, has suspended all active operations. However wise and politic the measure must be admitted to be, the Indians who cannot enter into our Views, will naturally feel disheartened and suspicious of our intentions. Should hostilities re-commence, I much fear the influence the