April 20 1812: Prevost to Lord Liverpool

On April 20, 1812, Governor General Sir George Prevost writes to Lord Liverpool in London about actions which he now believes will make war with the United States inevitable. Sir George Prevost was the commander of the British forces in North America. It is interesting to note that he ends the letter by stating that it is the "democratic spirit" of the United States that is driving the Americans to war. At the time, "democracy" was still something to be feared in Great Britain. Sir George Prevost's letter is reproduced below:
Sir George Prevost to Lord Liverpool.

QUÉBEC, 20th April, 1812.  
MY LORD,-  The recent passing of an Embargo Act in Congress, the orders issued for the march of 1600 men to reinforce the American positions on Lakes Erie and Ontario and the River St. Lawrence indicate an inevitable disposition for hostilities, which have induced me to accept the services of 500 Canadian youth, to be formed into a corps of light infantry or voltigeurs.  As soon as the organization of the militia is en train, I propose visiting Upper Canada to concert with Major-General Brock a general plan of offensive and defensive operations in the event of the democratic spirit of the United States having put the dispute beyond the bounds of accommodation.

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