- ▼ 2012 (8)
- ► 2011 (20)
Sunday, August 12, 2012
As with any legendary figure, Bill Johnston's history has been embellished with misfacts. This post aims to correct the commonest errors.
Friday, August 10, 2012
The legend of Bill Johnston includes a cast of interesting supporting characters. In 1838, while Bill hid in the Thousand Islands from two armies searching for him, his niece Ada spent the summer aiding her family in a time of trouble. She consoled her aunt Ann Johnston and often helped her cousin Kate Johnston run supplies to the family fugitive.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
During the Patriot War, tens of thousands of Americans pledged money and materials to help the Canadian rebels win political freedom in Upper Canada. A smaller number—I estimate between 1000 and 2000—actually took up arms and risked their lives by invading Canada. Most of these were the so-called "ordinary guy"—farmers, laborers, and tradesmen. Samuel D. Snow was one of these. The only difference being that he wrote about it.
Monday, June 4, 2012
Robert Marsh participated in three of the nine raids into Upper Canada during the Patriot War, including the first and the last. In his 1848 memoirs—the short title is Narrative of a Patriot Exile—he demonstrated an unflinching belief in American-style democracy and an unbending dislike of British colonial rule. Despite seven years of hard times, he never regretted his actions.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Irish-born Edward Alexander Theller (1804-1859) arrived in Montreal in 1826. Though there less than a year, he learned about the deep animosity the French-speaking populace had for the English government—a feeling any Irishman understood. That exposure set the stage for his later actions.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
The story of Thomas Jefferson Sutherland's (1801-1852) exploits in the Patriot War reads like a comedic adventure. As an idealist, the plight of the poorly governed Canadians drew him to their cause. As a writer and one-time sergeant in the US Marines, he had both the power of the pen and sword at his disposal. His skills at oratory brought him to center stage in the pro-Canada movement in Buffalo, New York. He looked like a winner.
Friday, January 13, 2012
By the end of 1839, the Hunter and Patriot movements had atrophied into a pathetic club of old men who schemed and dreamed of impossible glories. With Bill Johnston either in jail or avoiding jail, one Patriot warrior kept Upper Canada on edge: Benjamin Lett.