July 13 1812: Dickson to Brock

On July 13, 1812, Robert Dickson, a Scottish fur trader writes to Major-General Brock. Dickson is accompanying Captain Roberts who is leading a force to attack Fort Michilimackinac located in the Straits of Mackinac between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. On his own initiative, Roberts had decided to attack the fort. Dickson had brought a force of about four hundred including Ottawa, Ojibwa, Menominee, and Winnebago warriors.  The attack will come on July 17.  On July 13, Dickson writes to Brock:

(Canadian Archives, 256, p. 187.) 

Sir, I take the liberty of addressing Your Honor on the Subject of the Indians Nations to the West, a number of whose Chiefs and Warriors have accompanied me to this place in order to Co-operate with His Majesty's Forces wherever their Services may be wanted — The situation of those nations last Winter has, from their usual Supplies being withheld, been truly deplorable — there is but little hope at present of goods being this Season carried into their Country, and unless they receive Strong Support in Ammunition & Cloathing from His Majesty, they must infallibly perish. 

I had intended at this moment to have paid Your Honor a visit, in order to have had the Satisfaction of representing to You the State of the Country, and Several other interesting Subjects in the present crises; but I have deferred this that I may be ready for the attack of Michilimackinac, so earnestly wished for, as the means of Securing the Communication to the Mississippi and retaining and Supporting all the Indian Tribes in their present happy disposition so favorable to the interests of Britain — 

From Captain Roberts I have received every mark of attention that politeness could dictate, or that the good of the Service can require — The Indians are much gratified with his comportment towards them, and in him they repose the highest Confidence — 

I some time since despatched from Green Bay, thirty Indians to Amherstburg — had I received earlier information, I would have with ease brought an addition of Four or Five hundred to those now here. — 

We wait anxiously for Your Orders, on which the fate of this Country depends. 

St Joseph's July 13th 1812 

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