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.