Hamilton History - Early Settlement to War of 1812



View of/from the Niagara Escarpment at Hamilton After the American Revolutionary War, many United Empire Loyalists settled in the fertile region along Lake Ontario's shores. This boosted the population and economic development of the lands between Upper Canada's original capital at Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake) and the new one at York (now Toronto).

Monument at the Battle of Stoney Creek These were accompanied by a number of Indians who fought on their side in both the French-Indian Wars and the American Revolution. These Mohawks, of the Six Nations, under Captain (and Chief) Joseph Thayendanegea Brant, settled in the area around Brantford in 1784 on land reserved for them by the Crown. Captain Brant, for whom the town is named, is buried in Her Majesty's Royal Chapel in Brantford. This is the first Protestant church built in Ontario and one of only two Royal Chapels outside the United Kingdom.

After simmering treaty and border disputes finally erupted into the War of 1812, the Hamilton area again became a strategic area. While there were many skirmishes on both sides of the Niagara River, the Americans repeatedly attacked British Upper Canada, including one time landing at and burning Fort York. In 1813, the British regulars and Canadian militia defeated invading American troops at the Battle of Stoney Creek, fought in what is now a park in eastern Hamilton. The War between England and the US ended in 1814, and the British resolved the develop Upper Canada with greater haste.

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