March 31and April 3, 1812 - Prevost - Liverpool - Brock

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March 31and April 3, 1812 - Prevost - Liverpool - Brock

Post by pud » Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:36 pm

Source: Documentary History of the Campaign on the Niagara Frontier in 1812. Major E. Cruikshank, Fort Erie. WELLAND: Printed at the Tribune. Pp. 50-51

"Sir George Prevost to Lord Liverpool.
QUÉBEC, third April, 1812.

MY LORD,-Before Your Lordship receives this you will have learned Henry's treachery. From Mr. Henry's residence in this country, his religion, his thorough acquaintance with the Canadian character and language, and above all his deep resentment against its government, Bonaparte may give him a favorable reception with a view of keeping his talents in reserve. I think the next measure of hostility Mr. Madison will practice will be to cause a declaration of war to be laid upon the tables of Congress. I have therefore addressed the general officers commanding in the Provinces, recommending the utmost caution and prudence in their intercourse with the United States. I enclose an extract from my letter to Major General Brock, that to Sir John Sherbrooke contains the same except as respects the fort of Detroit.

Extract of a Letter from Sir George Prevost to Major General Brock, dated at Québec, 31st March, 1812.

I have carefully examined Lieutenant Colonel Macdonnel’s report on the American fort at Detroit, written at your desire, from information he had received during a residence of a few days in the vicinity. Whatever temptations may offer to induce you to depart from a system strictly defensive, I must pointedly request that, under the existing circumstances of our relations with the Government of the United States, you will not allow them to lead you into any measure bearing the character of offence, even should a declaration of war be laid on the table of Congress by the President's influence, because I am informed by our Minister at Washington there prevails throughout the United States a great unwillingness to enter upon hostilities, and also because the apparent neglect at Detroit might be but a bait to tempt us to an act of aggression, in its effects uniting parties, strengthening the power of the Government of that country, and affording that assistance to the raising of men for the augmentation of the American Army without which their ability to raise one additional regiment is now questioned. You are, nevertheless, to persevere in your preparations for defence, and in such arrangements as may, upon a change in affairs, enable you to carry any disposable part of your force against the common enemy."

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