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December 6, 2012

Proclamation

(Continued)

ALEXANDER SMYTH, Brigadier General Commanding. Camp near Buffalo, 27th Nov. 1812.

COMMENT: General Smyth (1765-1830) was a lawyer of Irish origin, and after the war served for years in the Virginia House of Delegates and as a Congressman.

At this period, many British soldiers in Canada had been serving (often under duress) in the West Indies, while better British troops fought in Europe against Napoleon.

Smyth’s appeal to his troops to behave properly -- somewhat dampened by his subsequent promise of “booty” and payment for seized government property, proved largely ineffectual. Many residents of Upper Canada who had recently emigrated from the United States (because land was cheaper and more available in Canada), eventually proved loyal to Canada as a result of their treatment by invading American troops.

Extra Notice

All persons are hereby cautioned and forbidden harboring or trusting any one whatever, on my account without a written order from JOHN MATTHEWSON. Westford, Nov. 5,1812.

COMMENT: Though he doesn’t say so, it seems probable that he is referring to his wife.

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