John Lambton is the single man who shaped our view of the rebellions of 1837-8 for better or worse and can take the blame for the general mistrust between English and French Canada, born on the 12th of April 1792 in the City of Westminster, where the centre of the British Parliament sits even to this day. He knew little of his father who passed away in 1797 when John was only five. His mother quickly remarried but his step-father had little desire in raising John and his brother. Instead, the boys were raised by a family friend. Nevertheless, John was well off, being theRead More →

If there is a singular organisation that is synonymous with the Patriot Wars and the Upper Canada Rebellion as a whole that group is the Hunter’s Lodge. The group grew out of the Frise Chassure, a group founded by the Lower Canada Patriotes under Joseph-Louis Papineau. Papineau had been waging his rebellion against Lower Canada out of Vermont. And while Papineau saw no better success than those in the west, the use of a central group and the model of a secret society had kept the group much better aligned with the goals of their rebellion. It also attracted the attention of Charles Duncombe whoRead More →

The continuing rebellion shifted after Pelee Island, as the leadership changed and William Lyon MacKenzie separated himself while living in Rochester while out on bail from his arrest in Buffalo following the evacuation from Navy Island. The Rebel Cause fell under the leadership of the Council of Thirteen. A mixed group of Canadian and American sympathisers. However, their actions against Upper Canada and their behaviour in the American cities had forced them to seek shelter in the rural areas along the border. Charles Duncombe had been working in the east and was spreading a new secret society based on a French-Canadian society to spread theRead More →

The rebellion was over, long live the rebellion. The one thing that surprised me that even after the failures of Duncombe and MacKenzie at London and Toronto and after they had fled to the United States and MacKenzie had set up his dream state, the Republic of Canada the violence did not end there and nor did the rebellion. But was the violence that made up the grossly over-named Patriot War part of the Rebellion or was it something else. The troubles that continued throughout all of 1838; I have chosen to split the troubles into three parts all held together by a common theme,Read More →

If you’re confused at the title, don’t worry, there never was the Republic of Canada, well not in any formally recognised manner. I happened across this strange pseudo-nation while doing the initial planning stages of this project. The grand republic is the brainchild of William Lyon MacKenzie and Charles Duncombe; they desired to reshape both Upper and Lower Canada into a single country with a Constitution and Government structure similar to that in the United States of America. And while he aimed to establish his new republic through force of arms, his failure at Toronto and Duncombe’s failure in the west did little to dampenRead More →

It was the 6th of November 1837, and Lower Canada had erupted in open armed revolt against the Colonial Government. The Patriotes under Louis-Joseph Papineau and many others fuelled by the ideals of the American Revolution, French Liberty, and Republicanism. They decided that they would only rid themselves of the influence of the British Ruling Class, a group of Tory elites organised into a group known as the Chateau Clique was to begin a revolution when their demands for reform were ignored. There had been some communication between Lower Canada Patriotes and the radicals in Upper Canada under William Lyon MacKenzie. And while a coordinatedRead More →

Up until 1834, there had been a conflict between those in Upper Canada who were reform-minded and those who were allied with the Conservative Family Compact. But those in the reform movement had no desire for radical change or an American style republic, but there were also some that were. The same remained on the Tory side, there were those who were moderates who thought that some change might not be a bad thing, but others who wanted stricter controls, those who wanted to turn Upper Canada into a perfect England, where English was supreme, and the only church was the Anglican church. But likeRead More →

William Lyon MacKenzie, not to be confused with William Lyon MacKenzie King (remember that for later), is more myth and legend that man. Cloaked in a persona often of his own making, MacKenzie was at the heart of the Upper Canada Rebellion, his push towards radical reform and public speaking skills caused many to flock to his cause. His use of twisting the facts, overblowing situations and the ability to turn men against each other and himself forced the issue in 1837. But much of what we know of MacKenzie is often more myth than fact, which has like much of Canadian history of theRead More →

Out of all the historical figures I have come across in my research one of the more interesting is Sir Allan Napier MacNab. MacNab is one figure whom I already had some knowledge of considering I have visited his former home many times in Hamilton. However, I had no idea how influential he was on pre-confederation history and his lasting impact on Canada today. Born in Newark, Upper Canada, today Niagara-On-The-Lake on the 19th of February 1798, his father an officer in the Queen’s Ranger who came to Upper Canada with Sir John Graves Simcoe. When the unit saw disbandment, the MacNab’s moved to theRead More →

So we’re now three months into the new year and you may be wondering when the content from Project:1867 is going to start appearing here on the blog. So I’m here to give you an update on how this project is going to work, where it’s at currently, and the way content is going to hit the Internet. The short answer regarding online content is you’re going to have to wait. I mean, by this point I have not shot a single frame for the project, and you know what that’s okay. Unlike the War of 1812 project the primary vehicle was the Internet andRead More →