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From the York Gazette: The Montreal Herald, August 8, 1812

From the York Gazette.

Tuesday, July 28, 1812.

Yesterday at an early hour, His Honour Isaac Brock, Esquire, President, administering the Government of Upper Canada, and Major General Commanding His Majesty's Forces therein, arrived at this place from Fort George; and accompanied by a numerous suite, proceeded to the Government Buildings at 4 P. M. when he opened the present extra Session of the Legislature, and delivered the following Speech to both Houses:—

Hon. Gentlemen of the Legislative Council, and Gentlemen of the House of Assembly.

The urgency of the present crisis is the only consideration which could have induced me to call you together at a time when public as well as private duties elsewhere, demand your care and attention.

But Gentlemen, when invaded by an Enemy whose avowed object is the entire conquest of this Province; the voice of Loyalty, as well as of Interest, calls aloud to every person in the sphere in which he is placed, to defend his Country.

Our Militia have heard that voice and have obeyed it, they have evinced by the promptitude and Loyalty of their conduct, that they are worthy of the King whom they serve, and of the Constitution which they enjoy and I find it affords me particular satisfaction that while I address you as Legislators, I speak to men who in the day of danger will be ready to assist not only with their Council, but with their Arms.

We look, Gentlemen, to our Militia as well as to the Regular Forces for our protection; but I should be wanting to that important trust committed to my care, if I attempted to conceal (what experience, the great instructor of mankind, and especially of Legislators, has discovered) that amendment is necessary in our militia laws to render them efficient.

It is for you to consider what further improvements they still may require.

Hon. Gentlemen of the Legislative Council, and Gentlemen of the House of Assembly.

From the history and experience of our Mother Country, we learn that in times of actual invasion or internal commotion, the ordinary course of Criminal Law has been found inadequate to secure his Majesty's Government from private treachery as well as from open disaffection, and that at such times its Legislature has found it expedient to enact Laws restraining for a limited period the liberty of individuals, in many cases where it would be dangerous to expose the particulars of the charge, and although the actual invasion of the Province might justify me in the exercise of the full powers reposed in me on such an emergency, yet it will be more agreeable to me to receive the sanction of the two Houses.

A Few traitors have already joined the Enemy, have been suffered to come into the Country with impunity, and have been harboured and concealed in the interior; yet the general spirit of Loyalty which appears to pervade the Inhabitants of this Province, is such as to authorize a just expectation, that their efforts to mislead and deceive, will be unavailing.—The disaffected I am convinced, are few—to protect and defend the Loyal Inhabitants from their machinations, is an object worthy of your most serious deliberation.

Gentlemen of the House of Assembly.

I have directed the Public Accounts of the Province to be laid before you, in as complete a state as this unusual period will admit; they will afford you the means of ascertaining to what extent you can aid in providing for the extraordinary demands occasioned by the employment of the Militia, and I doubt not but to that extent you, will cheerfully contribute.

Hon. Gentlemen of the Legislative Council and, Gentlemen of the House of Assembly.

We are engaged in an awful and eventful contest. By unanimity and dispatch in our Councils, and by vigour in our operations, we may teach the Enemy this lesson, that a Country defended by freemen enthusiastically devoted to the cause of their King and Constitution can never be conquered.

[Public Domain mark] Copyright/Licence: This work was published in 1922 or earlier. It has therefore entered the public domain in the United States.
[Public Domain mark] Copyright/Licence: The author or authors of this work died in 1964 or earlier, and this work was first published no later than 1964. Therefore, this work is in the public domain in Canada per sections 6 and 7 of the Copyright Act.