The life of Robert Nichol (1774 - 1824) from the Ontario [Canada] Historical Society:
"The first record I have found of his life in Canada, is contained in a certificate over his signature, dated at Amherstburg on January 21, 1798, in which he states that he had been employed by Mr. Askin, a British merchant of Detroit and had transacted all his mercantile 'business at Amherstburg...".
Was it his business acumen learned from working with Mr. Askin and elsewhere that proved invaluable in the eyes of Sir Isaac Brock?
"He [Brock] sent for Nichol...and offered him the important and responsible office of Quartermaster-General of the Militia. This would involve the entire organization of a new department, charged with all the duties of supply and transport for a considerable body of men suddenly called into service, for whose equipment, subsistence, quarters, and movements, no previous arrangements of any kind had yet been made. Everything must be improvised. Nichol said that at first he refused to accept this appointment on the ground that his private business would be neglected and ruined... . Brock insisted on his acceptance, saying that Nichol was the only person in the province whom he considered fit for the office... ."