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The Story of Isaac Brock Hero, Defender and Saviour of Upper Canada, 1812   By: (1847-1927)

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First Page:

THE STORY OF

ISAAC BROCK

HERO, DEFENDER AND SAVIOUR OF

UPPER CANADA

1812

BY

WALTER R. NURSEY

"By his unrivalled skill, by great And veteran service to the state, By worth adored, He stood, in high dignity, The proudest knight of chivalry, Knight of the Sword." Coplas de Manrique.

TORONTO:

WILLIAM BRIGGS

1908

Copyright, Canada, 1908, by WALTER R. NURSEY.

[Illustration: Frontispiece PORTRAIT OF MAJOR GENERAL SIR ISAAC BROCK]

A WORD TO THE READER

That Isaac Brock is entitled to rank as the foremost defender of the flag Western Canada has ever seen, is a statement which no one familiar with history can deny. Brock fought and won out when the odds were all against him.

At a time when almost every British soldier was busy fighting Napoleon in Europe, upon General Brock fell the responsibility of upholding Britain's honour in America. He was "the man behind the gun" the undismayed man when the integrity of British America was threatened by a determined enemy.

His success can be measured by the fact that it is only since the war of 1812 14 that the British flag has been properly respected in the western hemisphere. It is also a fact that after the capture of Detroit the Union Jack became more firmly rooted in the affections of the Canadian people than ever.

It must not be forgotten that the capture of this stronghold was almost as far reaching in its ultimate effect as the victory of Wolfe on the Plains of Abraham, and was fraught with little, if any, less import to Canada.

What with the timidity of Prevost, and the tactical blunders of both himself and Sheaffe, the immediate influence upon the enemy of the victories at Detroit and Queenston was almost nullified. Had Brock survived Queenston, or even had his fixed, militant policy been allowed to prevail from the first, it is safe to say there would have been no armistice, no placating of a clever, intriguing foe, and no two years' prolongation of the war. Had the capitulation of Detroit, the crushing defeat at Queenston, and the wholesale desertion of Wadsworth's cowardly legions at Lewiston, been followed up by the British with relentless assault "all along the line" before the enemy had time to recover his grip then our hero's feasible plan, which he had pleaded with Prevost to permit, namely, to sweep the Niagara frontier and destroy Sackett's Harbor the key to American naval supremacy of the lakes could, there is no good reason to doubt, have been carried out. The purpose of this little book is not, however, to deal in surmises.

The story of Sir Isaac Brock's life should convey to the youth of Canada a significance similar to that which the bugle call of the trumpeter, sounding the advance, conveys to the soldier in the ranks. Reiteration of Brock's deeds should help to develop a better appreciation of his work, a truer conception of his heroism, a wiser understanding of his sacrifice.

Many a famous man owes a debt of inspiration to some other great life that went before him. Not until every boy in Canada is thoroughly familiar with "Master Isaac's" achievements will he be qualified to exclaim with the Indian warrior, Tecumseh,

"THIS IS A MAN."

W. R. N.

Toronto, October, 1908.

NOTE. Of the hundred and more books and documents consulted in a search for facts I would register my special obligations to Tupper's "Life of Brock"; Auchinleck's "History of the War of 1812 14"; Cruikshank's "Documentary History," and Richardson's "War of 1812" (edited by Casselman).

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I. OUR HERO'S HOME GUERNSEY 11

II. SCHOOL AND PASTIMES 16

III. FROM ENSIGN TO COLONEL 21

IV... Continue reading book >>




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