Monday, August 29, 2011

Bill Johnston: 14. Feted in Prison, Released, Accused of Robbery

Following Bill Johnston's arrest at the hands of Captain William Vaughan in December 1838, Johnston awaited trial in an Albany, New York, jail cell. His faithful daughter Catherine (Kate), 19, moved into his cell to provide company, carry messages (she freely came and went) and attend to his needs. Theirs is an early example of celebrity incarceration.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Benjamin Lett: 1. Begins His Personal War

Throughout the Patriot War, the majority of Patriot and Hunter raiders tended to follow rules of engagement on par with their British enemy. That is, they behaved as soldiers, not murderers. While the British called them pirates and brigands, they were no more or less prone to abuses on the battlefield than the Upper Canadians. There was one notable exception, Benjamin Lett.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Uncle Tom Fights for Canada

Updated February 2014
In January 1838, Canadian militia repulsed Brigadier-General Thomas Jefferson Sutherland at Fort Malden. The militia also captured the Patriot's schooner and her commander, Brigadier-General Edward Alexander Theller.

One of the curious footnotes of the Patriot War is the makeup of the militia. It included an all-black company, with Rev. Josiah Henson, 48, as the senior black officer. Like many, he was an escaped American slave. Canada gave the black militiamen freedom and the opportunities available to free men, and they were grateful.