Patriot War of 1837

The Canadian Rebellion

US 15-star Flag Hunters Flag by Paul Sharon Canadian Flag


Our research on the Patriot War, though devoted mainly to the part Northern New York played, will include History of the Hunters Lodges, Battle at Windmill, Van Diemans Land, Trial at Kingston, resources, links, and family histories, and the French Canadian participants and their family histories.

There are two main events in the Patriot War as it relates to Northern New York. The first was the burning of the British steamer Sir Robert Peel in the Thousand Island region by "Bill" Johnston in the spring of 1838.

The second was the expedition which culminated in the tragic Battle of the Windmill, which sent a number of Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence County men to their death, and others to exile in the penal colony of Great Britain, the dreaded Van Diemans Land, now called Tasmania.

There is no more fascinating or romantic chapter in the history of Northern New York than the Patriots’ War. Though properly a part of the history of Canada, the United States, particularly Northern New York, played an active part in it. One of the most interesting features of the Patriot War relative to Northern New York was the formation of what was known as Hunter’s Lodges.

The Lodges extended from Montreal on the east to the Detroit River on the west. As many as a hundred thousand men where members of the Secret Order of Hunters Lodges. Practically every village in the North Country had a lodge, composed of those who were in sympathy with the struggles that the Canadians were making for their liberty.

They were willing to risk their lives and fortunes that Canada might become independent of Great Britain, and to quote from the preamble of the Declaration of Independence, "To assume that separate and equal station which the laws of Nature and Nature's God entitles them."

The rebellion was insignificant from a military point of view, but it was a tremendous political upheaval and it resulted in a much larger measure of self-government being granted by the Crown to Canada.

The following articles were extracted in part from the L. N. Fuller articles published by the Watertown Daily Times in 1923. We graciously thank the Watertown Daily Times for granting NNY Genealogy exclusive permission to post Patriot War information from their archives on the internet.

Permission granted by Mr. J. B. Johnson Jr.
Editor of the Watertown Daily Times, Watertown NY
Exclusive use of the information as presented in the
Northern NY Genealogy Patriots War Series and this web site.