Sunday, October 26, 2014

Before The War - Governor John Graves Simcoe


John Graves Simcoe (1752 - 1806) was the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada.

"He was Upper Canada's first lieutenant-governor and the most effective of all British officials dispatched from London to preside over a pioneer society. Simcoe was denied the opportunity to serve his country in a military capacity and became instead a stubborn, strong-willed autocrat presiding over a forested fiefdom deep in the heart of North America."

"In a letter to Joseph Brant in 1791, the Duke of Northumberland called Simcoe "brave, humane, sensible and honest." These qualities shine forth from the military journal Simcoe kept. About Simcoe's performance as lieutenant governor of Upper Canada there may be divided opinions, but as a military man there can be no doubt at all. His talents were surely wasted during a very tense and trying period of British history."

"...the sovereign's "trusty and well-beloved John Graves Simcoe" accepted the position as lieutenant governor of Upper Canada at a salary of 2000 pounds a year, the appointment to be effective on December 24th, 1791.

Simcoe's Military Journal recounts his service as commander of the Queen's Rangers in the American Revolution. While taking part in the siege of Boston, Simcoe purchased a captaincy. His subsequent promotions were all based on merit.

Per the United States NPS:

"Realizing the tension between the United States and Great Britain would only grow, Simcoe began preparations for war as early as 1794. He supplied Indian allies with weapons, fortified the fleet on the Great Lakes, and established a capital further inland at the Indian settlement of Toronto, renaming it York after King George III’s second son, the Duke of York."

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