Ogden Info -
An Ogden Caught Up In The Rebellion of 1837
This is a letter written by Elizabeth Ogden to her daughter Catherine. Elizabeth had been bundled up and hustled off to New York when civil war broke out in Canada.
Waddington, December 13, 1837
I am here my beloved Cate, exiled from home in consequence of the horrors and alarms of civil war. With the exception of Samuel C. Waddington James and Hammond who were obliged to remain we all arrived ten days since and have been most hospitably received by our kind friends who had written to us to come to them. My intention was to have procured lodgings but I have been overuled and am for the present with Catherine and your aunt Becky. Twelve of our family including Ann and her children are at Mrs. L. Ogden's on the island, Meredith and Elizabeth are to leave in a few hours for New York and I feel that my silence if protracted might - as you are ignorant of the situation in which I have existed for the last six weeks - cause you to think I was unmindful of you. I had scarcely left Waddington's bedside for nearly a month previous to my departure from home and I have not known a peaceful moment since for I feel that my desertion of him and your brothers at such a time was one of the most unnatural acts of my life - but I was overpowered by the united solicitations of my family and friends and because none of the females of the family would depart without me, I consented to accompany them. Your Uncle William has written most affectionately for some of us to go to him but whilst any of my children are in Montreal I cannot place myself at so great a distance. I have a hope too that when the winter roads are made I may be able to return to them. We lived in a constant state of agitation and alarm for some time before we left. Every action of the rebels bespoke the approach of a French revolution in miniature. Each private dwelling of the loyalists was an armoury in appearance. Our parlor had a gun and its necessary appendages in every corner. Samuel has joined the artillery, Hammond the rifle corps Waddington is incapacitated for service. But William and James were prepared when called for the former is still with us. The shops were often closed to admit of their occupants going to drill and otherwise protect their lives and property and the streets filled with armed citizens - multitudes of whom I fear may be sacrificed before peace and safety are restored. A letter is received this moment - received from Samuel who writes in good spirits. The city he says is completely fortified and they feel secure but not from an attack. Waddington was better - eight THOUSAND persons attended poor Weir's funeral. We tried to persuade Mr. Robertson and the Doctor to allow Sophie and the children to accompany us here on their way to Lady Camfibile (?) but the roads were so bad and the part of the country through which we had to pass is in such a state of rebellion that he would not consent - although he told your brothers that not a woman or child should be left in Montreal and urged them to send us from it. Poor Sophie was terribly alarmed and Mrs. R ill in bed from fright and worry I never have seen any one more terrified. The horror of civil war when realised is truely awful. We face the fearfullness and miserable apprehension of being arrested as prisoners. We journeyed here and thank God we arrived safely but nevertheless if I could effect my esacpe unaccompanied I would return to my sons. I see by the papers of today that Toronto is threatened with an attack. W. Roebuck left this week with Mr. Samuelson to protect the fort at Coteau-du Lac. M. Papineau is dead we have not heard the particulars but suppose fright and anxiety on seeing a reward offered by the Governor for capture of his band must have been the cause. Old Mrs. Badgely too is gone. We left her well but it requires a strong mind and nerve to live under such awful feelings not as to personal apprehension on being alone but for all who are exposed whom we love and care for. Young Bellingham is a prisoner to the rebels near Toronto - his brother fought valiantly at St. Charles. Remember to direct your letters to Mrs. Ogden at New York Elizabeth is to mail this letter at New York and will probably tell you she has arrived in July. Write to me soon my beloved child and ever believe me your affectionate mother.
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