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Military Personnel
    (October 6, 1769-October 13, 1812)
    Born in St. Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands, United Kingdom
    British officer and colonial administrator
    Promoted to Major General (June, 1811)
    Acting Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada (1811-12)
    During the War of 1812, defeated American forces at Fort Mackinac (July 17, 1812) and Detroit (August 15-16, 1812)
    Killed in battle at Queenstown Heights
    Called ‘the Hero of Upper Canada’
    He died before learning he had been knighted for his capture of Detroit.
    In his final battle, he made for a conspicuous target, partly because he wore a gaudy sash given to him by Tecumseh after the siege of Detroit.
    He ranked 28th on the CBC’s Greatest Canadians list despite being British.
    For the most part, he regarded Canada as a backwater and wished he could be in Europe, fighting against Napoleon.
    He was also reluctant to arm the Canadians, suspecting that many of them had pro-American sympathies.
    He was described as ‘unusually tall [and] robust.’
    He built several forts and developed a Great Lakes naval force that proved crucial in defending Canada against invasion.
    He defeated larger American armies.
    At Detroit, he took advantage of American commander William Hull’s paranoia about Native Americans by staging a series of carefully planned marches to make Tecumseh’s forces look much more numerous than they were, then sending Hull a demand for surrender noting, ‘It is far from my inclination to join in a war of extermination, but you must be aware that the numerous body of Indians who have attached themselves to my troops will be beyond my control the moment the contest commences.’ (Hull surrendered a day after receiving the letter.)
    During his funeral three days after his death, the British fired a 21-gun salute in tribute. A few hours later, the American garrison at Fort Niagara fired its own salute as a sign of respect.

Credit: C. Fishel


 
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