The Death of Isaac Brock
"This brilliant success is, however, clouded by the ever to be lamented death of Major General Brock..." - Major General Roger Sheaffe
Death of Isaac Brock
Brock at Queenston HeightsAfter the battle, neither the exhausted Sheaffe, nor the battered Van Rensselaer had the gumption to launch any more attacks. They quickly agreed to a three-day armistice that eventually stretched well into November. Despite the British-Iroquois victory, there were no celebrations on the Canadian side of the Niagara. Isaac Brock was dead. The weary troops and the population of Upper Canada felt the consequences of this loss.
Brock's body, and that of his aide John Macdonell, were taken to Government House in Newark where waves of mourners came to pay their respects.
On the morning of October 16, a solemn funeral train left the Government House for Fort George. Almost everyone turned up to watch the historic procession. At the fort, the caskets of the two dead men were carried between rows of more than five thousand men. The First Nations warriors and the militia stood across from the regular soldiers as the caskets passed between them.
The Americans asked permission to pay their respects as well. Cannons on both sides of the river thundered as Brock and Macdonell were buried in a single grave in the northwest corner of the fort.
Brock had exhibited a confidence in Canada's ability to repel the United States that few others, including Governor General Prevost, shared. The British success in the opening months of war was for the most part, due to Brock's initiatives. The victory at Queenston may well have passed that confidence on to the inhabitants of Canada.
The reaction to Brock's death wasn't confined to North America. Throughout Great Britain, church bells rang in Brock's memory. On Brock's home island of Guernsey, his family crest was changed to reflect his relatives' pride in the alliance he had forged with the First Nations. The Brock family emblem now included the likeness of a First Nations warrior.
For Tecumseh and the Natives, the death of Isaac Brock was devastating. Not only did they lose the one British leader they had grown to trust and admire, they also lost the only person who had promised to secure them homeland.