On October 26th, 1888, the Chateauguay Literary and Historical Society was organized at Ormstown, Quebec, to foster Canadian patriotism by encouraging the study of Canadian history and Canadian literature. The Society began its labours at home, taking as its subject the battle whence it derives its name. Mr. W.D. Lighthall, M.A., B.C.L., an honorary member, was asked to prepare an account of that victory, and kindly responded by his lecture, which he delivered before the Society on March 8th, 1889. Pleasure is now felt in offering this lecture, in the interests of the Society, to the Canadian world, no apology being required at a time when patriotic literature is in great demand. Mr. Lighthall’s researches have been discussed by the members, and the belief is prevalent that his work touching this important item of history, in so far as accuracy is concerned, stands unrivalled, the previous authorities having been carefully compared and their testimony put together.
In the Appendix will be found a number of notes having a bearing on the battle and its times. The portrait frontispiece is from a line engraving kindly lent by Gerald E. Hart, Esq., President of the Society for Historical Studies. The drawing of the map, after the design of the author, is due to J.A.U. Beaudry, Esq., C.E., Curator of the Antiquarian Society of Montreal.
The first part of the account is partly based upon R. Christie’s History of Lower Canada; but William James’ Military Occurrences of the War of 1812, was found the most accurate in statistical details, and is, therefore, frequently followed. Other authorities are referred to in their places.
The battle of Chateauguay, in view of the important results that followed it, is an event which all Canadians will appreciate, and to which posterity will have reason to point the finger of admiration. All nationalities concerned in building up this country, when united by a common danger, bore in it an honorable part, as they fought side by side in defence of their homes and those that were dear to them, from the wanton aggression of an ungenerous foe.
The Society hopes to continue its work and to offer other pamphlets in the near future, so that this effort on its part may be regarded as the first of a series. Another of its immediate objects is the erection of a monument on the battlefield, to accomplish which pecuniary assistance is required. The belief is held that no opportunity should be lost to educate the rising generation to form a true conception of the grandeur of the heritage that is ours,
October 29th, 1889.