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Journal of an American Prisoner at Fort Malden and Quebec in the War of 1812   By: (fl. 1812)

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First Page:


Journal of An American Prisoner At Fort Malden and Quebec in the War of 1812

Edited by

G. M. Fairchild, jr.

Author of

"From My Quebec Scrap Book," "Gleanings from Quebec," "A Ridiculous Courting," "A Winter Carnival," etc.


Privately Printed by Frank Carrel, Limited, Quebec 1909

200 Copies Privately Printed. Copy No. 71

=Registered= by G. M. FAIRCHILD, JR., in the Office of the Minister of Agriculture in conformity with the Law passed by the Parliament of Canada, in the year 1906.

Quebec, 1909: The Daily Telegraph Printing Co.

Explanatory Note

The book containing this journal is an ordinary pocket memorandum or account book measuring 6 x 4ΒΌ inches and covered with split calf. The journal opens the day of the author's capture, and closes on the day he receives orders at Quebec to prepare to leave for Boston. The author's name is nowhere to be found in the book, and several pages at the beginning have been cut out, evidently by the original owner. The journal was found among the papers of the late J. Gradden, a benevolent merchant of Quebec who rendered considerable aid to the American prisoners of war confined there on prison ships. The journal was no doubt presented to Mr. Gradden by its author as a return for kindnesses. Mr. Gradden's son, the late Chas. Gradden of Kilmarnock, gave it to Sir James M. LeMoine, the venerable Historian of Quebec, who in turn presented it to me with the understanding that I would edit and print it.

Although the author's name is not attached to the journal it bears unmistakable evidence of having been written by Surgeon's Mate James Reynolds who was deputed by Surgeon General Edwards of Gen. Hull's army to the charge of the sick on the two vessels that were dispatched from Maumee to Detroit, but which were captured at Fort Malden (Amherstburg) by the British. Lossing, in his "Pictorial Field Book of the war of 1812" says that the schooner conveying the sick in charge of Reynolds escaped and reached Detroit, and that the Dr. Reynolds of this expedition was killed at the attack on Detroit by a cannon ball. There is a mistake somewhere as the author of this journal says that HE was in charge of the Cuyahoga conveying the sick, and that the accompanying schooner carried the stores, and that both vessels were captured at Malden. Could it be that there were two Reynolds, one the Surgeon's Mate and the other the Dr. Reynolds that Lossing refers to as having been killed, and hence the confusion? I am inclined to this view in the absence of convincing proof to the contrary. The journal itself is strongly corroborative of my contention as the weight of evidence is with the writer whose story is everywhere the simple straightforward one of the daily chronicler of the events that came under his observation. It is a very human document and not without historical value. It will take its place in the Archives of the war of 1812 on the Frontiers.

G. M. FAIRCHILD, JR., Editor .

NOTE. On a blank page in the book I find written in pencil in the author's handwriting, Sergt. Ord. Reed, Dougherty, Jowlen, Madison, Printiss, Button, Noble Emetic (The author had evidently dosed them all).

Historical Note

Anticipating the formal declaration of war President Madison of the United States during the winter of 1811 12 commissioned Gov. Wm. Hull of the Territory of Michigan as a Brigadier General to command the Ohio and Michigan troops at Detroit, with the understanding that immediately upon the announcement of war he was to invade all that part of Canada contiguous to Detroit. On June 24th, 1812, Gen. Hull with several thousand troops had arrived at Fort Findlay. Here he received despatches from Washington to hasten his forces to Detroit and there await further orders... Continue reading book >>

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