THE WAR FOR COMMERCIAL INDEPENDENCE
%263. Fighting on the Frontier.%—“Mr. Madison’s War,” as the Federalists delighted to call our war for commercial independence, opened with three armies in the field ready to invade and capture Canada. One under Hull, then governor of the territory of Michigan, was to cross the river at Detroit, and march eastward through Canada. A second, under General Van Rensselaer, was to cross the Niagara River, take Queenstown, and join Hull, after which the two armies were to capture York, now Toronto, and go on eastward toward Montreal. Meantime, the third army, under Dearborn, was to go down Lake Champlain, and meet the troops under Hull and Van Rensselaer before Montreal. The three were then to capture Montreal and Quebec, and complete the conquest of Canada.
The plan failed; for Hull was driven from Canada, and surrendered his army and the whole Northwest, at Detroit; Van Rensselaer, defeated at Queenstown, was unable even to get a footing in Canada; while Dearborn, after reaching the northern boundary line of New York, stopped, and the year 1812 ended with nothing accomplished.