The Invasion

AuthorCraig Forcese
Chapter 3
The Invasion
BRAVE CANADIANS! Haen to join that andard, and to make common
cause with your fellow citizens . . . The opportunity of the absence of
the hired red coats of Europe is favourable to our emancipation. And
short-sighted is that man who does not now see that, although his apathy
may protra the conte, it mu end in INDEPENDENCE, freedom from
European thralldom forever!
—     ,  
13  18371
N   the Niagara River, approximately three
miles (f‌ive kilometres) upstream of Niagara Falls. Lying
across a navigable channel from New York’s Grand Island
and separated by a more treacherous passage from Chippawa, on the
Canadian mainland, its status as Canadian territory in 1837 ref‌lected
a complicated past.
What is now called Navy Island was visited and used by Indigen-
ous peoples in the distant past.2 Within historical times, the Niagara
region was inhabited by the Neuter, a nation displaced by the Seneca.
The Seneca then fell into sporadic conf‌lict with the French, the f‌irst
Europeans in the Niagara region in the late 1600s. After misleading
the Seneca into believing they were constructing a trading station, the
French built Fort Niagara in 1726 at the mouth of the Niagara River at
Lake Ontario. Britain, in alliance with the Iroquois during the Seven
Years’ War, captured this fortif‌ication in 1759, following a protract ed
campaign that reached the Navy Island region. The next year, the
British constructed a stockade on the Niagara River, upstream from
the Falls. This settlement which would feature in the story of the
Caroline was named Fort Schlosser in 1763.3

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