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The United Empire Loyalist Settlement at Long Point, Lake Erie
Chapter LIV. Williams

In the Revolutionary war, Jonathan Williams was a captain in the Loyal Rangers. Strange to say, he was not so much molested by the Legislature of the State of New York after the war as were others. He was left off the confiscation and “expurgation” lists. Consequently, it was not till 1800 that he came to Canada, when he settled in the township of Woodhouse. His son, Titus, was born in Long Island in 1790, and came over with his father.

Four years before the war of 1812, Titus received an ensign’s commission in the 2nd Regiment of Norfolk militia, and as soon as war was declared he was made lieutenant of the left flank company, which assembled at Turkey Point. He was second in command of the 100 volunteers from this county who accompanied Brock to Detroit, which was followed by the ignominious surrender of the American general, Hull. His rank was then raised to that of captain.

Shortly afterwards he was ordered to the defence of Fort Erie, which, it was surmised, would soon be attacked, for thirteen thousand men were arming and drilling at Buffalo. When the attack came, the Canadians were forced to retire, for their numbers were far inferior to those of the American force. However, on his way back to Chippawa Capt. Williams succeeded in surprising and taking prisoners thirty Americans under Capt. King. In the fight at Fort Erie, which lasted through the night, it may be mentioned that Major Bostwick and John Matthews, of Norfolk County, were wounded: the former in the head, the latter in the leg.

The next year he was ordered to take forty men and a large boat and proceed to Sugar Loaf, where a quantity of flour was buried. This he was to seize during the night, if possible, and bring it to headquarters. After dark he proceeded to the point and ran his boat on shore, but before they could land a volley was fired into the boat, for the Americans had received information from a deserter. They had run on the shore with such impetus that the boat was grounded, and there being no chance of escape, the whole party were taken prisoners. The captives were forwarded from one place to another, Schlosser, Fort Niagara, Batavia, Geneva, Albany, Pittsfield, Mass., and, finally, Philadelphia. On account of some executions of deserters taken in arms by the Canadian Government, Williams and his companions were looked upon as hostages, and stood in hourly danger of the gallows. They were incarcerated five in a cell, in close confinement. As time went on, however, the feeling subsided, and they were liberated on the 18th of May, 1814, and arrived in Upper Canada July 25th, 1814. On his return he was appointed adjutant and fought at Lundy’s Lane. After that battle he was placed in command of the militia working on Fort Norfolk, in Turkey Point, and remained in that capacity till the close of the war, when the militia was disbanded.

There were few engaged in this struggle for home and fireside that fought longer or more gloriously. From the 25th of June, 1812, till the forces were disbanded, in 1815, he was either on duty or a prisoner of war. Subsequently, he was made successively major and colonel, and did not lay down his commissions until failing eyesight demanded his resignation.

Lord Elgin sent a cordial letter of appreciation to him on the occasion of his handing in his resignation. It reads as follows: “I have much pleasure in availing myself of the opportunity of expressing to Col. Titus Williams the high sense I entertain of his services, and he is hereby permitted to retire, retaining his rank.”

Assuredly the U. E. Loyalists were the “stuff of which heroes are made.” The writer has been told many further incidents of the bravery of Col. Williams, in the war of 1812, but sufficient has been said to prove his courage.

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