AuthorCraig Forcese
Chapter 7
Blood has been shed; you mu go with all speed to the Niagara frontier.
— President van Buren to General winfield sCott1
M   a note to Head announcing
the successful raid that had prevented an intended inva-
sion of Canada, and lauding Drew and his men for the
gallant execution of a dangerous service.2 Head responded with his
“unqualif‌ied approbation” and thanks to Drew and his company.3
The American response was dif‌ferent. Politically and legally, the
repercussions of the raid were more signif‌icant than the sinking of
a modest-sized steamer and a few American deaths (and likely just
one) might suggest. As discussed in subsequent chapters, the raid
provoked outrage in the United States and brought relations between
the young republic and Britain to near rupture.
The immediate implications were more modest. Tactically, the
event was a success, although not instantly. The occupation of Navy
Island and sporadic hostilities would continue for several weeks. A
Canadian witness reported accounts of f‌ifty to 100 men joining the
insurgents on Navy Island from New York;4 one insurgent claimed
that by mid-January 1838, as many as 1,300 f‌ighters and twenty-six
cannons were on or near Navy Island.5

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