announced today that a number of rare and important letters and documents dating from The War of 1812 will be up for sale as part of its Decorative Arts Auction on December 12, 2012.
The collection includes three drafts of letters/reports from the summer of 1814 written by Alexander Dobbs, Commander of a squadron of British ships, to his superior Commodore Sir James Lucas Yeo. The letters are a fascinating personal record of Dobbs involvement at The Battle of Lundys Lane, one of the bloodiest battles fought on Canadian soil.
There is also Dobbs account of the explosion of H.M.S. Magnet, blown up by her Lieutenant on the shore of Lake Ontario to avoid capture by oncoming American ships. He also writes of his experience at the Siege of Fort Erie where, he states our losses have been very severe: 10 Seamen and 11 Marines killed, 15 Seamen and 18 Marines wounded and missing. I fear a number of the latter were blown up. Lieut. Stevenson, Mr. Harris Master and myself were wounded. Mr. Hinde, Masters Mate, had his thigh broke and was left in the Ditch where I fear he must have perished. If there is any inaccuracy in this I trust you will excuse it, as my head aches so intolerably I can scarce hold it up.
A fourth letter, from Yeo, instructs Dobbs not to get involved with the General attack of the army (on the Americans). This may have been a warning to stay off the lake, which at the time was under American control.
These unique letters provide a very personal insight into an important period in Canadian history. Their unique content will certainly attract the attention of relevant institutions and collectors interested in this conflict, especially in light of this bicentennial anniversary year. Sean Quinn, Waddingtons Auctioneers.
A military appointment signed by Sir Isaac Brock and James Brock in February of 1812 reflects Brocks reorganization of the Army in anticipation of American aggression which came in the early summer of that year.
Also to be included in the sale is a survey entitled Road of Communication From York to Nottawasaga Bay dating from about 1795, for a proposed route from York (Toronto) harbour to Lake Simcoe, to be known as Yonge Street, after Sir George Yonge, friend of Governor John Graves Simcoe, who initiated the plan to ensure continued access to the upper lakes.