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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor

 



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Sir Isaac Brock

BROCK, Sir Isaac, soldier, born in the island of Guernsey, 6 October, 1769; killed at the battle of Queenstown, Canada, 13 October, 1812. He entered the British army as an ensign at the age of fifteen, purchased a lieutenancy in 1790, served in Jamaica and Barbadoes until 1793, rose by successive steps until he had reached the senior lieutenant colonelcy with less than thirteen years' total service, was with the expedition to North Holland in 1799, and took part in the battle of Copenhagen, also in the operations in the Baltic in 1801. In 1802 he embarked for Canada, and in the following year, single-handed, suppressed a dangerous conspiracy instigated by deserters, and caused the execution of the leaders. Obtaining leave of absence in 1805, he returned to England, but rejoined his regiment in 1806. In 1810 he was sent to Upper Canada to take command of the troops, and was also appointed lieutenant governor of the province. His first effort was to put the province in a condition to meet the impending conflict with the United States. On the declaration of hostilities, Brock advanced upon Detroit, to which General Hull had retired, and on 16 August, 1812, received the surrender of the entire army, with its entire cannon, arms, and stores, as well as the armed brig "John Adams." For this he was made a Knight of the Bath. After the capture of Detroit, an American force of 6,000 was gathered on the Niagara frontier, and, in the battle that followed, General Brock fell at the head of his troops, pierced by three balls. His last words were : "Never mind me ; push on the York volunteers." Brock died where he fell. After lying in state at Government House, his remains were interred in one of the bastions of Fort George. During his funeral the Americans fired minute guns "as a mark of respect to a brave enemy," forgetting that when Brock demanded the surrender of Detroit the year before, he had threatened to let loose his savage allies upon the inhabitants if he were compelled to take it by assault. He was in his forty-fourth year, and unmarried. He was six feet two inches in height, erect, and athletic. He had attained the rank of major general. The House of Commons voted £1,575 for a public monument, which was erected in St. Paul's. Pensions of £200 were awarded to each of the members of his family, consisting of four brothers, together .with a grant of 12,000 acres of land in Canada. A monument in the form of an Etruscan column, with a winding stair within, standing on a rustic pedestal, was erected on the heights of Queenstown at a cost of £3,000; and on 13 October, 1824, the twelfth anniversary of his fall, his remains were placed in the vault beneath. A fanatic blew up the monument on Good Friday, 1840. Its ruins were seen and described by Charles Dickens in his " American Notes." On 30 July, 1841, a Massachusetts-meeting of more than 8,000 persons, presided over by the lieutenant governor of Upper Canada, was held, and £5,000 voted for the immediate restoration of the monument. As restored, it stands on the original site, and is a tall column surmounted by a statue of the general. A small monument also marks the spot on the field of battle where he fell. A memorial church was erected in Queenstown by the York rifles, to whom his last order was given, and Brockville, with other names in Canada, perpetuates his memory.

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

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