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August 29 1812: Brock on Tecumseh

On August 29 1812, Major General Brock, temporarily at York, writes to the Earl of Liverpool. He details what has transpired since the invasion of Upper Canada. Brock also provides his impression of Tecumseh. He is impressed writing:  
Among the Indians whom I found at Amherstburg, and who had arrived from distant parts of the Country, I found some extraordinary characters. He who attracted most my attention was a Shawnee chief, Tecumset, brother to the Prophet, who for the last two years has carried on (contrary to our remonstrances) an Active Warfare against the United States — a more sagacious or more a gallant Warrior does not I believe exist. He was the admiration of every one who conversed with him: from a life of dissipation he has not only become, in every respect, abstemious but has likewise prevailed on all his nation and many of the other Tribes to follow his example. 
 Brock's letter is reproduced below.

MAJOR-GENERAL BROCK TO THE EARL OF LIVERPOOL.
York Upper Canada 
29th' August 1812

My Lord --Since the commencement of the War, my time has been chiefly occupied with my military duties, in various parts of the province — I have not failed regularly reporting to His Excellency the Governor in chief what I considered essential, who I make no doubt has put Your Lordship in possession of every necessary information

The invasion of the Western District by General Hull, was productive of very unfavourable sensations among a large portion of the population, and so completely were their minds subdued that the Norfolk Militia, when ordered to March, peremptorily refused — The state of the country required prompt and vigorous measures — The majority of the House of Assembly was likewise seized with the same apprehensions, and may be justly accused of studying more to avoid, by their proceeding-s, incurring the indignation of the enemy than the honest fulfilment of their duty. I thought it my duty at this critical moment to lay before His Majesty's Executive Council the representation of which the enclosed is a copy^"^ As no one advantage could result from their remaining longer in Session the Legislature was immediately prorogued, upon their passing the money Bills, which leave at my disposal for the use of the Militia, about Ten thousand Pounds. My Speech at the opening and close of the Session together with the answer of both Houses, I have the honour to transmit herewith.

I cannot hide from Your Lordship, that I considered my situation at that time extremely perilous ; not only among the Militia was evinced a disposition to submit tamely, five hundred in the Western district having deserted their Ranks, but likewise the Indians of the six Nations, who are placed in the heart of the Country on the Grand River, positively refused, with the exception of a few individuals taking up arms — they audaciously announced their intention, after the return of some of their chiefs from General Hull, to remain neutral, as if they wished to impose upon the Government the belief that it was possible they could sit quietly in the midst of War — This unexpected conduct of the Indians deterred many good men from leaving their families and joining the Militia — they became more apprehensive of the internal than the external enemy, and would willingly have compromised with the one to secure themselves from the other

I shall think it my bounden duty at some future day to call your Lordships attention to the absolute necessity of removing this infatuated people from their present situation. The loud voice of self preservation, every consideration of Policy recommends the measure,— although they have changed their tone with the late success yet the necessity of guarding against the evil they may still commit, is not less imperious.

The Proclamation which General Hull published upon his taking possession of Sandwich, tended in a great degree to create the disposition in the inhabitants already noticed, and his emissaries were numerous and active. I caused a Counter Proclamation to be issued which I had the satisfaction to find produced immediate effect among the well disposed whofrom that day increased in their activity and Vigilance. Having declared my intention of proceeding to the Western District with such of the Militia as might Voluntarily offer to accompany me, in a few days five hundred, principally the sons of Veterans, whom His Majesty's munificence settled in this Country cheerfully tendered their service. The threatening attitude however of the enemy, on other parts of the frontier obliged me to content myself with half the number, with whom I arrived in safety late on the 13th inst at Amherstburg. In no instance have I witnessed greater cheerfulness and constancy than were displayed by these Troops under the fatigue of a long journey in Boats and during extremely bad Weather, and it is but justice to this little band to add that their conduct through (ou)t excited my admiration.

To my official dispatch to His Excellency the Commander of the Forces I beg leave to refer, your Lordship for my subsequent proceedings. (Dispatch of the 16 Aug: Capitulation 16 Aug. Proclamation at Detroit to the People of the Michigan Territory.)

Among the Indians whom I found at Amherstburg, and who had arrived from distant parts of the Country, I found some extraordinary characters. He who attracted most my attention was a Shawnee chief, Tecumset, brother to the Prophet, who for the last two years has carried on (contrary to our remonstrances) an Active Warfare against the United States — a more sagacious or more a gallant Warrior does not I believe exist. He was the admiration of every one who conversed with him: from a life of dissipation he has not only become, in every respect, abstemious but has likewise prevailed on all his nation and many of the other Tribes to follow his example. They appear determined to continue the contest until they obtain the Ohio for a boundary. The United States Government is accused, and I believe justly, of having corrupted a few dissolute characters whom they pretended to consider as chiefs and with whom they contracted engagements and concluded Treaties, which they have attempted to impose on the whole Indian race — Their determined opposition to such fictitious and ruinous pretensions, which if admitted would soon oblige the Indians to remove beyond the Mississippi, is the true ground of their enmity against the Americans. The jealousy with which they view the British Merchants continue their commercial intercourse with the Indians has likewise been attended with serious inconvenience. Under the difficulty
the Merchant experienced few goods could be introduced into the interior, and their own measures, the operation of the non intercourse (act) precluded even their own people from furnishing the Indians with Clothing of the first necessity.The consequence has been fatal to many — Deprived of ammunition the poor Indian was unable to provide the necessary quantity of food or even cover-his nakedness with the skins of animals. The Armistice concluded between His Excellency, Lt Gen Sir George Prevost and General Dearborne, has suspended all active operations — However wise and politic the measure must be admitted to be, the Indians, who cannot enter into our views will naturally feel disheartened and suspicious of our intentions. Should hostilities recommence I much fear, the influence the British possess over them will be found diminished: no effort however of mine shall be wanting to keep them attached to our cause. If the condition of this people could be considered in any future negotiation for peace, it would attach them to us for ever. The reinforcements lately arrived from the Lower Province places this portion of the country beyond the likelihood of an attack. The enemy must encrease his present force considerably before he can hazard an Invasion with a view of keeping possession of the country

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