HISTORICAL EVENTS THAT TOOK PLACE ON THIS DAY IN CANADA
Battle of Windmill Point, below Prescott, Nov., 1838
Americans Defy President - Land at Prescott, Ont
Canada has been fortunate in escaping serious civil wars such as have taken place in he United States, Britain, France, Russia, and many other countries. Nevertheless, there were rebellions in which people were killed n Upper and Lower Canada in 1837-1838, and in what is now Saskatchewan in 1885.
The rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada might have been far more serious if t had not been for President Van Buren of he United States who, on January 5, 1838, issued a proclamation forbidding Americans to take any part in the fighting. The governors of New York and Vermont, the States lost closely affected, took similar action. This took the wind out of the sails of the Canadian rebel leaders who had been counting on receiving aid from across the border.
Robert Nelson was one of the most active leaders. He had the brilliant idea of forming an organization called "Hunters' Lodges", which capitalized on the American weakness for joining secret organizations. The Hunters tad "cells" all along the border. Each local group was commanded by a Snowshoe, who was in charge of nine Hunters. A. Beaver directed five Snowshoes; an Eagle commanded the Beavers, and so on until the chain of authority reached the Grand Eagle, or supreme commander.
Sir John Colborne, Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in Canada, estimated that the Hunters had 200,000 members. They held a convention in Cleveland and proclaimed a "Republican Government" of Canada. Plans included an invasion of Canada all along the border from Detroit to Montreal. One quite serious battle occurred when a force from Ogdensburg,, N.Y. landed at Prescott, Ontario with the idea of dividing Upper and Lower Canada. The battle lasted four days and by then the raiders had either been killed or captured. Although their leaders were defended by John A. Macdonald, then a young lawyer in Kingston, they were found guilty and hanged.
OTHER NOTABLE EVENTS ON THIS DAY IN CANADIAN HISTORY
-1680 La Salle built Fort Crèvecoeur on the Illinois River.
-1805 The first issue of the Quebec Mercury was published.
-1870 The first issue of Ottawa's Le Courier went on sale.
-1874 Winnipeg held its first civic election; 331 votes were cast, although there were only 308 on the voters' list!