The Unknown Country, Canada and Her People

By Bruce Hutchison | Go to book overview

CHAPTER EIGHT General Brock's Bloody Hill

On the Heights of Queenston, beside the canyon of Niagara, stands a vast and grisly monument. Mark it well. If the spirit of a nation can be said to have a birthplace, this is it. If the relations of Canada and the United States are important, this is the place to understand them. If the two neighbors have seldom behaved as well as we like to imagine, here, on this hill, we can see why. If Canada is the curious joint product of Britain and the United States, acting and reacting upon one another, the hill of Queenston is the crucible of this chemistry.

The monument at Queenston marks far more than its builders ever dreamed of, and perhaps that excuses their fearful design. In shape this erection is like Nelson's monument in Trafalgar Square. The stark single column soars up as in London on the foundation of four carved lions, but at Queenston they are poor emaciated creatures, hardly better than snarling cats. The figure at the top of the column is bulbous, ill-shaped, in absurd cocked hat, hand out in stupid gesture. It wears, as a final insult, a web of steel lightning rods (without which, perhaps, a merciful nature would shatter it in a single flash and make way for a worthier memorial).

Still, despite its ugliness, we love it. This is our monument to a great Canadian soldier, General Isaac Brock. He won his battle here, on this wooded hill. He died a few feet away, torn by an American bullet. But not before he had showed the Canadian people, in a single hour, that they could make an independent nation.

-158-

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The Unknown Country, Canada and Her People
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents ix
  • My Country 3
  • Chapter One - Chez Garneau 6
  • Mother of Canada 21
  • Canadian Spring 43
  • Chapter Three - The Wood Choppers 46
  • Letter from Montreal to Young Lady With Violets 61
  • Chapter Four - Ville Marie 64
  • The Tower 77
  • Chapter Five - Three O'Clock, Ottawa Time 79
  • Leaves Falling, Dead Men Calling 107
  • Chapter Six - Made in Canada 110
  • The Ready Way to Canada 129
  • Chapter Seven - The Wedge 132
  • Mrs. Noggins 155
  • Chapter Eight General Brock's Bloody Hill 158
  • Winter 179
  • Chapter Nine - Wood, Wind, Water 182
  • The Names of Canada 209
  • Chapter Ten - Sailors' Town 211
  • The Queer Lady 219
  • Chapter Eleven - The Home Town 222
  • The Trees 231
  • Chapter Twelve - Fundy's Children 234
  • The Geese 247
  • Chapter Thirteen - The Frontiersman 249
  • The Canadian 269
  • Chapter Fourteen - The Men in Sheepskin Coats 272
  • Father's Plow 289
  • Chapter Fifteen - Drought and Glut 292
  • Never Go Back 309
  • She's Quiet Tonight 329
  • Chapter Seventeen - The Lotus Eaters 332
  • The Buckskin 351
  • Chapter Eighteen - Cariboo Road 353
  • Index 375
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