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July 29 1812: Speak Loud and Look Big


On July 27, 1812, Major Brock writes another letter to Colonel Baynes where starts with some choice rants before getting down to business of choosing officers.  The rants are more fun. Brock writes: 


"My situation is most critical, not from any thing the enemy can do, but from the disposition of the people — the population, believe me is essentially bad— a full belief possesses them all that this Province must inevitably succumb—this pre possession is fatal to every exertion — Legislators, Magistrates, Militia Officers, all, have imbibed the idea, and are so sluggish and indifferent in their respective offices that the artful and active Scoundrel is allowed to parade the Country without interruption, and commit all imaginable mischief — They are so alarmed of offending that they rather encourage than repress disorder or other (im)-proper acts. I really believe it is with some Cause they dread the vengeance of the democratic party, they are such a set of unrelenting villains."


He then explains his main strategy: "Most of the people have lost all confidence," he writes, "I however speak loud and look big."  Brock's full letter is reproduced below.


MAJOR-GENERAL BROCK TO COLONEL BAYNES. 
York July 29 1812 

Dear Colonel, I was not favored with your letters  of the 8th and 10th Instant until this morning. I had not before received any official communication of war being declared, and I assure you began to fear I was wholly forgot. My situation is most critical, not from any thing the enemy can do, but from the disposition of the people — the population, believe me is essentially bad — a full belief possesses them all that this Province must inevitably succumb—this pre possession is fatal to every exertion — Legislators, Magistrates, Militia Officers, all, have imbibed the idea, and are so sluggish and indifferent in their respective offices that the artful and active Scoundrel is allowed to parade the Country without interruption, and commit all imaginable mischief — They are so alarmed of offending that they rather encourage than repress disorder or other (im)-proper acts. I really believe it is with some Cause they dread the vengeance of the democratic party, they are such a set of unrelenting villains, but to business — several of my letters last have miscarried, otherwise you would long since have been aware that I requested you to reinstate Lieut Johnston in the Glengarry Regiment. He may not be very efficient but then consider the claims of his family — Indeed the proposition came originally from you. Should Johnston be rejected, I am under previous engagements to Lamont therefore cannot give ear to FitzGibbon's application. 

I have necessarily so many detachments along my widely extended frontier that I cannot possibly spare an Officer, I have therefore detained L Kerr of the Glengarry I am obliged to mix regulars with the Militia, otherwise I could not get on at all — It is a pity you did not understand his wishes in regard to the recruiting business. 

What a change an additional regiment would make in this part of the Province!! Most of the people have lost all confidence. I however speak loud and look big — Altho' you may not be able to cast a look this far, you must not omit Johns(t)o(w)n and Kingston, Some regulars will be highly necessary I wish very much some thing might be done for M'' Grant Powell,^ He was regularly brought up in England Tis a Surgeon I intended to have proposed to Sir George to appoint him permanent Surgeon to the Marine department, but I scarcely think the situation would now answer His abilities I should think might be usefully employed now that so many troops are called out — Mess'' Dickson, Pothier and Crawford behaved nobly at tie capture of Micbilimackinac — This event may give a total change to the war in the West — Captain Eoberts is spoken of in the highest terms 

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