Chapter Three Shishibes Lake
The Subscription Ball [page 67]
Hannibal [page 70]
The Letter [page 72]
Another Subscription [page 76]
Who is Miriam Lockwood? [Spoiler alert!]
Surely everyone knows this novel must end with Sir Isaac Brock’s death, and if you have finished reading the novel, you also know how the people of Niagara reacted. Here is a source for both the reaction of the townspeople and also for the woman he loved as given in a speech by Ms. Janet Carnochan in 1906 to the Niagara Historical Society.
“The feeling shown for Brock, whether by his soldiers, by farmers who had fought with him and shed tears in speaking of him, the feeling shown by his Indian Allies, and by friend and foe alike; by Mrs. Powell and Mrs. Claus,
But who was this constant woman? Ms. Carnochan does not say, but confirms most definitely that such a woman existed. John Richardson, an Upper Canada teenage volunteer who fought in the Western Division with General Procter, writing a history of the war in1842 entitled Richardson’s War of 1812, has no reluctance whatsoever in naming her.
“It may be of some interest . . . that Miss Sophia, daughter of Major-General Shaw, was the fiancée of Major-General Brock.”**
Major-General Aeneas Shaw had a long history of Loyalist service dating back to the Revolution and was quite elderly by 1812. The Shaw family was resident in Niagara in 1812 and General Shaw served as Brock’s Adjutant-General of Militia during the war. For literary economy, the author decided to combine the family who boarded Brock’s ward, ‘John Ellis,’ with the family of his fiancée, naming her Miriam Lockwood.
*Quoted from the address entitled, ‘Sir Isaac Brock’ as presented to the Niagara Historical Society, May 14th, 1906, by Janet Carnochan.
**From the Facsimile edition published in 1974 by Coles Publishing Company, a footnote on page 122, from Richardson’s history of 1842.
* * * *
'The Diary of Mrs. John Graves Simcoe’ is a wonderfully valuable source for life and experiences of those living in Upper Canada during the late 18th century. Her entry for Saturday, December 15th, 1792, reads,
“Mrs. Macaulay gave me an account of a subscription ball she was at, which is to be held in the town of Niagara every fortnight during the winter. There were fourteen couples, a great display of gauze, feathers and velvet, the room lighted by wax candles, and there was supper as well as tea.”
In addition, Mrs. Simcoe has three more entries that winter regarding subscription balls. The winter pastime continued until Brock’s tenure, for in a January 17, 1811, entry of Tupper’s ‘Life and Correspondence’ we find this letter from Colonel Baylies to Brigadier Brock at Fort George,
“I have just received a long letter . . . giving me an account of a splendid ball given by you [Brock] to the beau monde of Niagara and its vicinity . . .”
And finally, here is Mrs. Simcoe’s Tuesday, February 12, 1793 entry on the Mohawk Chapel, which stands to this day,
"I heard of the Governor’s [her husband’s] safe arrival at the Mohawk village . . . He was much pleased with seeing their church and hearing their women singing psalms. The Indian women have remarkably sweet voices.”