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Indian relics, was universally commended. We also followed the example of the L. L. Society, in decorating the graves of those who died to save their country, the four to whom a tablet is placed in St. Mark's church on May 27th, (the grand-daughter of one of them. Capt. McLelland is among us).
“Other encouragements, we have had. The Mayor kindly allowed the use of his office for our first meetings. The town council granted the use of the old library room. A lar case was presented by Mr. Long, (since then four cases for our collection by the Archaeological Museum, Toronto), Conıributions have come in rapidly ; such valuable historic relics as General Brock's cocked hat, obtained from Mrs. Herbert Ball, through the kindness of Mr. Alfred Ball; and the sword surrendered at the Taking of Fort N:agara by our troops in 1813, from Mr. Alexander Servos ; papers printed in Niagara, 1794, presented by Mr. C. A. F. Ball; the christening bowl used by Rev. R. Addison, kindly loaned by Mrs. Stevenson ; and many other articles form the nucleus of what we hope may become an extensive and valuable collection. Our curator, Mr. Wilkinson, has nobly performed his task and deserves our hearty thanks. The work of correctly and neatly labelling and entering 250 articles is no slight one, (now over 400).
" And now for what we hope to do The respected President of the L. L. H. S., Canon Bull, has assured us that the greatest cause of its vitality is ils publications, and thus it has earned the right to receive grants from the county and the province, has thus disseminated useful and valuable historic information. Canon Bull, in his address a year ago, advocated the erection in Niagara of a memorial of the landing of the U. E. Loyalists, with the names of the refugees, at the spot on the beach where so many of them landed, and this would be a legitimate work for us. The preservation of our forts and historic spots is another worthy object of our ambition, and we rejoice that already a step has been taken in that direction. We hope to obtain from the County Council and the Provincial Government a small grant for printing purposes, as we already have other historical documents to print. It may thus be seen that we have much before us. We feel that as à Society we have much reason for thankfulness for what we have been able to accomplish in less than a year, and should the same zeal, the same hearty support be given in the ensuing year as in the last we shall have no reason to feel ashamed of our record.”
Since the above was written a grant has been given by the County Council of Lincoln and the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario for printing purposes. The Historical Pilgrimage to Niagara, May 24th, under the charge of Mr. Frank Yeigh, and the meeting here of the Pioneer and Historical Association of Ontario, June 2nd, have developed much interest in the history of our neighborhood and much interest was expressed with regard to the historical collection. There are now fifty picture frames hanging on the walls of the room, containing deeds, commissions, pictures of the town, valuable historical documents, and we would earnestly ask all who have any papers, pamphlets, books printed in Niagara in early days, or articles illustrative of the history of the country to contribute by loan or otherwise. A record is carefully kept by Mr. Wilkinson, the curator, and all articles contributed are acknowledged in the Niagara Times in the
Historical Coluinn." In the year 1800, a library was formed in Niagara, the history of which is known for twenty years, and it is particularly wished to obtain some of the books belonging to it ; several rare and curious volumes have lately been given. The donors may be sure that great care will be taken in the preservation. The room is open from three to five on Saturdays and many visitors from different cities and countries have shown great interest in the collection so that it is easily seen that all helping in forming an historical museum are giving pleasure and conferring a real benefit on their country, for such collections serve to develop patriotic feeling.
CENTENNIAL POEM .
Written by Mrs. Curzon, President of the Woman's Historical Society, Toronto ; dedicated to the Niagara Historical Society, and read by Rev. J. C. Garrett, Rector of St. Mark's, at the first anniversary of the Society, 17th Sept. 1896.
That dark September for New France was past;
On to Canadian soil, the land grew strait--
Ah! What a joy it was when Pitt-who knew
And oh ! how joyful the momentous day
FORT NIAGARA, N. Y., 1783-1796 ;
The Long Hold over Period of That Fort.
(A paper read by the Rev. Canon Bull, President of Lundy's Lane H. S., before the Niagara Historical Society at Niagara, Ont., Sept. 17, 1896.)
The celebration across the river, of an event of one hundred years ago. August 17, 1796, namely : England's surrender of Fort Niagara to the new Republic of the United States of America, was observed a few days ago by a very large concourse of people at the old Fort. Although the occasion was memorable, and attracted considerable public attention, and jubilant addresses were invited, yet according to the newspaper accounts of the day's proceedings, it would seem that nothing was said or no explanation given as to the long delay intervening between the Treaty of Peace in 1783 and 1796, a period of thirteen years, before the Treaty was fulfilled so far as concerned the restoration of Fort Niagara and certain other forts into the hands of the United States authorities The long delay or hold-over period caused considerable annoyance to the people of the Republic. It was held to be an unsufferable grievance-enough, again, to provoke hostilities between the two Powers.
The able author of " A Brief History of Old Fort Niagara,” says, on pp. 61, 62 :-" At last, June 1, 1796, the day set by treaty for the evacuation, ar"rived, but none of the five forts were evacuated. Why? Because the
United States were not ready to occupy them, not even Fort Niagara, the most important of the five.
“So badly, indeed, had the United States army been supplied with pro"visions that, when notice was sent to the Federal General by the British
officers that they had received orders to deliver up their respective posts ' pursuant to the treaty, and that they were prepared to do so whenever he
was ready to take possession of them, an answer was returned that unless “the British officers could supply his army with a considerable quantity of "provisions on arriving at the lakes, he could not attempt to march for 'many weeks.”
(Quoted by Hon. Peter A. Porter, from Weld's Travels, page 302.)
“ A British statement," adds Mr. Porter, “but in general, substantiated “by fact.
"On August uith, the order having been duly presented, the British “evacuated Fort Niagara and transferred the garrison, consisting of fifty "men, guns, ammunition, stores, etc., across the river. As the banner of “St. George came down from the flag-pole at Fort Niagara on that day, the “British emblem floated over but one spot on American soil, Michilimacinac, " which was not surrendered up to the United S:ates until the following October “So Niagara was the next to the last post evacuated in America."
In the following paper it is proposed to show from official documents of the period, what were the real reasons for the long delay or hold-over period of 1783-'96.
It may seem extraordinary that we should at this time go back to events that occurred at a period so distant; but, in doing so, it will be, perhaps, interesting and useful to the student of history and of international politics, in order to understand and fairly to judge between the two administrations at that time. —the one as conciliating as possible, and the other as perverse and hostile.
It must be observed that the confederation of the United States, which was formed at the commencemeni, continued for some time after the peace. The nature of this compact must also be observed. It was a pure democracy. The government was not placed in the hands of even a few individuals, but remained in the possession of the representatives of the States.
Considerable difficulty existed in the objects prescribed by the treaty of peace. These difficulties arose from the impediments which were placed in the way of His Majesty's subjects, which operated so as to prevent their recovery of debts which had been owing previous to the revolution. These debts it was not possible to recover. This, and other circumstances, sanctioned the British government in the retention of certain forts, posts, etc., which, had the terms of the treaty been strictly complied with on the part of the United States, ought to and would have been surrendered at
In December, 1785, we find Mr. Adams at the British Court, “urging the "complaints of America and pressing for a full compliance with the treaty.” In reply the Marquis of Carmarthen (afterwards Duke of Leeds) said that the engagements entered into by a treaty ought to be mutual and equally “binding on the respective contracting parties. It would be, therefore, the " height of folly as well as injustice to suppose one party alone --the British