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Letter Negotiations for a peace treaty had started in 1813 but dragged on as each side attempted to gain an advantage that would settle the war in their favour.

The failure by either side to win a decisive victory led to a peace treaty signed at Ghent in December 1814 which restored the status quo. The slow communications of the day meant that the bloody clash at New Orleans was fought after the war ended.

The Upper Canadian perspective on the war and its end is well illustrated in the letter below from George Ridout to Abraham Nelles.

Photo: Gage homestead and the new Stoney Creek monument on the battlefield of that name

Click to see a larger image (125K)
Gage homestead and the new Stoney Creek monument on the battlefield of that name. It is south of the Hamilton-Niagara Falls highway - the monument was erected by the Wentworth Historical Society, 1913
John Boyd fonds
Black and white print
Reference Code: C 7-3, 3157
Archives of Ontario

"…Altho' that Peace is restored again between the States and us is beyond a doubt, yet notwithstanding it is now a month since we first heard the report, we can hardly credit our senses. This so unlooked for and extraordinary. Many a jobber, speculator and contractor will feel severely the effect of this sudden termination to a destructive and expensive war."

Extract from an original letter from George Ridout (York) to
Abraham Nelles (40 Mile Creek), March 13, 1815
Abraham Nelles family fonds
Reference Code: F 543
Archives of Ontario

An American observer of the war, Nathan Ford, lamented the failure of the United States to gain a clear military advantage in a war that was to have been a "mere matter of marching":

"Two years war and no conquest? The little province of Upper Canada holds out two years against the whole force of democracy? This is very grating."

Extract from and original letter from Nathan Ford (Ogdensburg)
to his brother David Ford, July 16, 1814
Ford Family fonds
Reference Code: F 483
Archives of Ontario

To listen to an excerpt from this letter in wav format (343K), click here.To listen to an excerpt from this letter in "wav" format (343K) click here. It is also available in "aif" format (343K).

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