Sunday, May 30, 2010

Benjamin Wait, Samuel Chandler: 1. Two Men with a Common Destiny

Benjamin Wait (September 7, 1813-November 9, 1895) was born to American immigrant parents in Upper Canada. A businessman and teacher, he lived west of Niagara Falls. Samuel Chandler (October 8, 1791-March, 29 1866) was born in Connecticut. He moved to Lundy’s Lane, Upper Canada, in 1819, and built wagons. The Patriot War brought these two men of diverse backgrounds together and plunged them into an adventure that took them to the ends of the earth and back.

Monday, May 24, 2010

James Morreau: Short Hills Raid Leads to Long Drop on the Gallows

On June 10, 1838 a band of 26 Patriot raiders assembled beside the Niagara River in New York State. With liberation of Canada as their goal, emboldened by Bill Johnston's raid on a steamer, and deluded by a promise that thousands of Canadians would rise up to join them in armed revolt, they planned to strike a blow for the Patriot cause. What blow--they had no idea.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Linus Miller: From Patriot to Penal Convict

Linus Wilson Miller (December 28, 1817-April 11, 1880) was a wildly idealistic American drawn into the campaign to "liberate" Canada. He grew up on a farm near Stockton, NY, but left the agrarian world to study law. But at just 20, the Patriot War diverted his career—for eight years.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Bill Johnston: 6. Destroys Sir Robert Peel

For nearly three months since the Pelee Island raid, an uneasy peace had settled along the border as the bulk of the Patriot army went back to their farms for spring planting. Into that lull stepped Bill Johnston and Donald McLeod at the head of a bold raid that became Johnston's signature event—the act that earned him his pirate moniker.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hunters Lodge: 1. Rise of Warlike Secret Society

After his army's defeat in February 1838, Robert Nelson, military chief of the French Canadian rebels, realized he could never win if he continued to publicly recruit and train his army. British spies and informers were everywhere. So, he created a secret society to build his army and raise funds. Word of his initiative found its way to the English Canadian rebels. In April, General Donald McLeod came to investigate. He liked what he saw.