Sunday, 3 December 2017

A Time in Old Ontario part 5

By the 1820’s there were signs of progress evident in Upper Canada. The log cabins that had housed the first settlers in Percy Township were replaced by frame houses as saw mills made boards available for local market as well as for export to American centres. These mills were situated on the water as they were run by water power. Access to water would also have made transportation of the lumber easier.

Early house in Fanshaw Village

It was hard to get around Upper Canada on land. There were roads but, in some seasons, vehicles became bogged down in the mud. It was best to travel in winter when the ground was frozen. Which was probably why an early stage-coach line started in winter. A road close to “the lake, known as Kingston Road, became the main highway. Along this road a weekly stage-coach line began winter service in 1817, taking from two to four days to make the trip between York and Kingston.”*

Hard roads were difficult to find, hard feelings against the American born population in Upper Canada were plentiful. Anti-American sentiments had grown since the war of 1812. This was probably understandable as some men from this population group had slipped across the border to fight for the Americans, then came back to their Canadian holdings when the war was over. Others, however, had fought beside their neighbours on the Canadian side. Whatever their participation had been during the recent conflict, there was no mechanism for the "Americans" to become citizens of Upper Canada or Britain. Government minds wrestled with what to do about the “Americans” in the population and some of their solutions even made land title uncertain.

It is hard to say how aware the actual “American” Upper Canada farmer was of the anti-American sentiment. Much of the population of Percy Township came from the same background and they did have families to support and farms to run. Indications are that Charles Tripp’s family were active in their British North American community. Three of Charles’ sons, Charles Jr., Jonathan and Ezra, show up on the 1828-1829 militia nominal rolls in the 6th Percy Company, apparently assets to the township despite their American origins. 


Bumsted, J.M. The Peoples of Canada: A Pre-Confederation History. Oxford University Press, Toronto, 1992

Craig, Gerald M. Upper Canada: The Formative Years, 1784-1841. Oxford University Press, Don Mills, Ontario, 2013*
p 148

Ducharme, Michel. The Idea of Liberty: In Canada During the Age of Atlantic Revolutions, 1776-1838. McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal, 2014

Elliott, Bruce S., Dan Walker & Fawne Stratford-Devai. Men of Upper Canada: Militia Nominal Rolls, 1828-1829. Ontario Genealogical Society, 1995

Hall, Roger and Gordon Dodds, Ontario: 200 Years in Pictures: A Celebration of Ontario, 1791-1991. Dundurn Press Limited, Toronto, 1991


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