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Otsego Herald

August 29, 2013

A brave patriot?

From the Otsego Herald

for Saturday, August 28, 1813

Compiled, with comments


Isaac Sterling

Bravery and Good Fortune. An obliging friend at Braintrim [Wyoming County, PA] has favored us with a letter, written to him from the Genesee —  from which we have extracted the following account, the authenticity of which we have no reason to question.

Mr. Isaac Sterling was employed with his team, in transporting articles for the army in Canada. At the time of the surprise of our troops at 40 Mile Creek [in Upper Canada], he was there with his wagon. Hearing a disturbance in the night, he roused up, and stepping from his wagon found four men near it, who immediately called upon him to surrender, threatening to kill him if he resisted.

Mr. Sterling was true-blooded. Cowardice and he were no partners in trade; — Finding they were enemies he drew a pistol and shot one of them dead on the spot. His other pistol was left in the wagon.

The other three attacked him: From the foremost he had the good fortune to wrest his gun, and immediately he plunged the bayonet into him. The other two attempted to fly, but Mr. Sterling killed one of them and the fourth escaped.

Thus did Mr. S. kill three of the enemy and saved himself from the attack of four, but not without injury; he was wounded in the wrist, in the arm, and in his side, but is slowly recovering. A braver or more successful exploit has rarely been met with. Mr. Sterling certainly deserves a high reward for his valor. — Wilkesbarre Gleaner.

COMMENT: Isaac Sterling (1772-1840) was born in Wilton, Conn., and about 1794 married Margaret Jones. They had 13 children born between 1795 and 1816. It would seem, however, that Isaac liked the country in Upper Canada and after the War of 1812, in 1817, he moved there — and one of his grandsons (born 1818) was named Isaac Brock Sterling after the Canadian military hero!

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