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August 2, 2012

Canadian refugees

From the Otsego Herald

for Saturday, August 1, 1812

Compiled, with comments


Weather: Utica 1812 Almanack: Clear and pleasant weather.

Five Dollars Reward

Ran away from the subscriber on the 19th inst. [July], a NEGRO MAN, named Thomas, about 18 years of age, nearly 6 feet high, very large feet, and a scar under one eye. Whoever shall return said negro to the subscriber, shall receive the above reward and necessary charges. JAMES MOREHOUSE. Maryland, July 20, 1812.

COMMENT: James Morehouse came to the village of Maryland about 1794, the first house in the area. James Mourhouse [so spelled] is buried in Maryland cemetery, d. Nov. 28, 1831, aged 85. In 1820 he still owned one slave.

A Singular Circumstance

We understand, that, among the new Recruits who arrived today at the Rendezvous at Greenwich, are a father and brother, and six sons. The father has brought with him a wife and four other children. Three of the enlisted sons have with them their wives and seven children. Thus the number of this family party amounts to twenty-three. Who has the honor to command this patriotic company we have not heard. The party were enlisted about 60 miles west of Newburgh; -— and, before they commenced their march to Head-Quarters, none but the mother of the family had ever seen the North River. — New York Spectator

Canadian Refugees

Buffalo, June 14. Expecting a descent from the American army, the Canadians have, for ten days past, been removing their families and effects from the [Niagara] river, into the interior. At Newark, Queenston, and other villages on the river, there are no inhabitants, except a few civil officers and soldiers. It is even said , that an immense quantity of specie, plate &c. from various parts of the province, have been boxed up and destined to Quebec.

The militia of the province are ordered out en masse. Great discontent prevails in consequence of this requisition: there being no help to gather in the crops, the clamors of the people are but little short of open rebellion. There is no civil authority in Canada — no magistrate will act — the martial code has usurped the civil code.

Many young tradesmen in Canada from the states will be ruined. They cannot collect their debts, nor bring away their property — but many have come away and left their all in jeopardy.

On Wednesday morning last, during a thick fog, four British soldiers, standing as centinels on the river near Fort George, swam over to the American shore. Three of them brought their arms.

It is stated by gentlemen of intelligence at Lewiston, that the government of Canada have in their employment, under pay, 250 Indians, armed complete — a part of them mounted.

COMMENT: Like many other reports of the time, these accounts were at least somewhat exaggerated.

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