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Brock and Tecumseh

Portrait: Major-General Sir Isaac Brock, K.B., [ca. 1883]

Major-General Sir Isaac Brock served as the commander of British forces in Upper Canada from the beginning of the war until his death at Queenston Heights in October 1812.

His victory at Detroit and the bold front he presented, despite limited resources, was instrumental in preventing an early victory by the United States.

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Major-General Sir Isaac Brock, K. B., [ca.1883]
President and Administrator of Upper Canada, 1811-12
George Theodore Berthon (1806-1892)
Oil on canvas
Government of Ontario Art Collection, 694158




An artist's reconstruction of the meeting between Brock and Tecumseh in August 1812 which cemented the alliance between Great Britain and the First Nations in the Michigan Territory and further west.

The subsequent capture of Detroit and Hull’s Army of the Northwest diverted American resources away from the St. Lawrence supply line toward the recovery of territory in the west.

The peace treaty signed at Ghent in 1814 failed to take the concerns of the First Nations into account and in fact brought an end to the alliance between the British Crown and the First Nations in the United States.



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The meeting of Brock and Tecumseh, [ca. 1921]
C. W. Jefferys
Pen and ink drawing on paper
Government of Ontario Art Collection, 621231

Drawing: The meeting of Broack and Tecumseh, [ca. 1921]
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Fort Detriot

Letter This watercolour plan was likely prepared by a engineering officer of the United States Army. The dates indicate that it was created a few months before the declaration of war; the note attached to the plan includes information on the state of the defences and armament of the fort so it was likely drawn as part of a program to indicate the condition of fortifications along the frontier in anticipation of a declaration of war.

It would have been included amongst the official documents seized as part of the surrender agreement. This is one of the handful of original images from the time of the war to survive. We are largely dependent on the written word and the works of historical imagination, like that of C. W. Jefferys, to depict how things might have looked and felt.

Watercolour: Plan of Fort Detroit, January 26, 1812

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Plan of Fort Detroit, January 26, 1812
Artist unknown
Miscellaneous collection
Watercolour
Reference Code: F 775, box MU 2102
Archives of Ontario




"August 13 [1812] – The small Canadian force cross the river & demand surrender of the Fort. Hull waves and refuses. Canadians and indians besieged Detroit Fort a few cannon ball brings them to their level. Hull and all his army surrender as prisoners of war. An event [un?] in History. Booty valued at 200,000 dollars. Prisoners all sent to Quebec. The affair when known throughout the Country created the utmost enthusiasm and admiration for General Brock's luck and bravery."

Chronological account of the War of 1812, [after 1838?]
Colonel John Clark
William Hamilton Merritt family fonds
Reference Code: F 662, box MU 5849U 5849
Archives of Ontario






The fort and town at Detroit was the largest settlement in the northwest. Its possession was vital to both sides in the conflict.

 

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Plan of the Town of Detroit and Fort Lernoult, 1792
Plan
Simcoe family fonds
Reference Code: F 47-5-1-0-111-0-11
Archives of Ontario, I0004756

 

Plan of the Town of Detroit and Fort Lernoult, 1792
First message from Brigadier-General Hull to General Brock, August 16, 1812

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Messages from Brigadier-General Hull to
General Brock, August 16, 1812
Miscellaneous collection
Letter
Reference Code: F 775, box MU 2102
Archives of Ontario


Second message from Brigadier-General Hull to General Brock, August 16, 1812

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Messages from Brigadier-General Hull to
General Brock, August 16, 1812
Miscellaneous collection
Letter
Reference Code: F 775, box MU 2102
Archives of Ontario

The first note reads: "General Brock, I propose a cessation of hostilities for one hour to open negotiations for the surrender of Detroit." The second reads "Sir, the object of the Flagg, which crossed the River, was to propose a cessation of hostilities for one hour for the purpose of entering into a negotiation for the surrender of Detroit."

The unexpected decision to give up a strong, well-garrisoned position without a fight likely fuelled confusion on the British side. Any confusion was quickly settled and terms for the surrender of the Fort and its garrison were concluded. General Hull was court martialed for cowardice by the United States Army for the surrender and convicted, but escaped execution based on his record in the American War of Independence.

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Terms of Capitulation of Fort Detroit

Terms of capitulation of Fort Detroit (page 1), August 16, 1812

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Terms of capitulation of Fort Detroit,
August 16, 1812
Page 1
Miscellaneous collection
Document
Reference Code: F 775, box MU 2102
Archives of Ontario

Transcript

Camp at Detroit 16th August 1812

Capitulation for the surrender of Fort Detroit entered into between Major General Brock commanding His Britannick Majesty's forces on the one part and Brigadier General Hull commanding the North Western Army of the United States as the other part.

1st Fort Detroit with all the troops, regular and militia, will be immediately surrendered to the British forces under the command of Major General Brock and will be considered prisoners of war, with the exception of such of the Militia of the Michigan Territory who have not joined the army.

2nd All public stores, arms and all public documents including everything of a public nature will be immediately given up.

3rd Private persons & property of every description will be respected.

4th His Excellency Brigadier General Hull having expressed a desire that a detachment from the State of Ohio on its way to join his army as well as one sent from Fort Detroit under the command of Colonel McArthur should be included in the above capitulation - it is accordingly agreed to - It is however to be understood that such part of the Ohio Militia as have not joined the army will be permitted to return to their homes on condition that they will not serve during the war - their arms however will be delivered up if belonging to the public.

5th The Garrison will march out at the hour of twelve o'clock this day and the British forces will take immediate possession of the Fort.

(Signed) W. Hull, Brigadier General
(Signed)
Approved J. B. Glegg, Major A. D. C
(Signed) Isaac Brock, James Miller, Lieut. Col. 5th United States Infantry
Major General E. Brush, Col. 1st Regiment of Michigan Militia

True Copy
Robert Nichol, Lieut. Col. & Qr. M. Genl. of
the Militia

Terms of capitulation of Fort Detroit, August 16, 1812 (Page 2)

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Terms of capitulation of Fort Detroit,
August 16, 1812
Page 2
Miscellaneous collection
Document
Reference Code: F 775, box MU 2102
Archives of Ontario




Poster displaying the terms of surrender at Detroit, 1812

Posters displaying the terms of General Hull's surrender at Detroit were posted in the Ohio Territory and Upper Canada in French and English.





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Poster displaying the terms of surrender at Detroit, 1812
Hiram Walker Historical Museum collection
Detroit Campaign series,
Poster
Reference Code: F 378 20-231
Archives of Ontario

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