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Farmers Breeches

My father had often warned me “Alletta, your strong spirit and loose tongue will lead you into harm”. But he, Captain Daniel Rapelje, was away with the Middlesex militia that day in September, 1814 when the raiders came to our farm in the Talbot Settlement on the north shore of Lake Erie.The audacity of that Andrew Westbrook and those men to destroy our crops, burn our fence rails and steal all they could carry! One of the officers even had the gall to confiscate my brother’s best trousers and then inquire of me whether they became him splendidly. I could only respond with contempt “The clothes are well enough but they are on a very bad man just now!”Before they were gone ‘the wheat and hay lay scattered over the fields, corn was taken out the crib and the sheep were all slaughtered, leaving us in desolation’. I could hold my tongue no longer and as the villains were departing, I informed their traitorous leader, Andrew Westbrook, that he was the “worst kind of thief and scoundrel!”Written by Anne Carruthers.Graves, Dianne,  In the Midst of Alarms; The Untold Story of Women and the War of 1812,  2007, Robin Brass Studio Inc., Montreal, Que. Pg.287Rammage, Stuart, The Militia Stood Alone: Malcom’s Mills. 6 November 1814, Penticton, 2000, pg.124

Stott, Glenn, Greater Evils: The War of 1812 in Southwestern Ontario, G. Stott Publishing, Arkona, ON, pg. 148

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