George Chisholm

scotto

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(Sent in by David)

Burlington Gazette
Helen Langford
Jan. 17, 1978
George Chisholm
Charles King, of last week's article did not settle alone. He bought his land in conjunction with George Chisholm.
The story of George and his brother John is exciting enough to form a great movie. Their travels from Scotland to Delaware River Valley; their hardships during the War of Independence; their involvement in loyalist causes and their ultimate journey into Upper Canada is one of the best historical stories of any time! (See Mark of Honour, Hazel Mathews).
After several frustrating years of unproductive labor on a land grant in Nova Scotia, George followed his brother John to the Niagara area. While working for wages at Fort Erie, George met Charles King, a native of New Jersey. Together these two men purchased 600 acres from Dr. Robert Kerr, the deed dated July 12, 1793. George Chisholm took the easterly portion and Charles King the westerly. The description of the land on the deed read;
It contains 600 acres- ascends gradually from the Bay with a south front- and from the distance the trees stand from each other and the great Verdure under them (the tract) has more the appearance of an English Gentleman's Park than wild land in America... and you may be conveyed in your Barge from your own Door to Niagara...or...any part of the settlement on Lake Ontario.
Behind this park were many cedar swamps and numerous rattlesnakes. According to Augustus Jones, the land surveyor, 70 were killed near the Bay in the summer of 1795.
George Chisholm, his wife, eldest child, Mary Christina, 11 years, and sons, John, William and George (aged 9, 6 and 1) and little Barbara, three years settled to clear and farm the land. A log home was built near Charles King where twin girls born in 1795 completed the family of George and Barbara Chisholm.
In the spring of 1796, George was appointed a Magistrate by Governor Simcoe following his visit to the area with Lady Simcoe, as recorded in her diary- a superb description of the Bay. George was acquainted with Simcoe through his military association during the War of Independence.
More of the Chisholms next week.
 

scotto

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Chisholms and the Creek
Jan. 24,1978
Helen Langford
During the summer of 1797 an old friendship was renewed between George Chisholm and Joseph Brant. This friendship began in New York State with loyalist activities- George fought with Burgoyne while Joseph led various groups including a company of Butler’s Rangers. Their homes were both within the heavily raided areas. In 1797, Joseph Brant received a grant of land known as Brant’s Block, stretching from the edge of Chisholm’s farm east to Rambo Creek and north to the Dundas Highway- a total of 3,450 acres. On this grant, Brant built his home- the third in the immediate area.
Both Brant and Chisholm were Freemasons and members of the Barton lodge- Brant one of the original members of Jan. 1, 1796, and Chisholm the seventh member joining in July, 1796.
In 1797, George Chisholm was on e of the commissioners on the first bridge over the outlet at Burlington Bay and his name also appears as a commissioner for the purchase of Brant’s Block from the Mississaugas in 1797.By the way the first bridge washed out almost immediately! The Chisholm family continued their association with the beach area for many years, particularly John Jr. the eldest son of George.
John at the age of 17 operated a tavern in 1801 I wonder what the legal age was! Two years later he realized the potential in importing goods from Montreal and forwarding them across the inlet (outlet?) into the interior- likely even supplying James Gage’s store at Stoney Creek, and evidence that John’s store was the first post office in Nelson Township.
An early map believed to be by S. H. Ghent about 1800 shows the Chisholm holding and even more interesting , the fortifications in readiness for the War of 1812.
 

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William Chisholm (1788 – 1842)

Burlington Historical Society

Son of a loyalist

William was born 15 Oct. 1788 in Nova Scotia to George Chisholm and Barbara McKenzie and came to Fort Erie, Upper Canada with the family in 1792. The family then moved to the Head-of-the-Lake on land adjoining Joseph Brant's. In this sparsely settled wilderness the Chisholm brothers learned to speak the Mohawk language. In May of 1812 William married Rebecca Silverthorn.
Read More;
http://vitacollections.ca/burlingtonhistoricalsociety/2827392/data
 

scotto

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More of the Chisholms

Jan. 31, 1978
Helen Langford
More of the Chisholms
During the War of 1812, George Chisholm Sr. was captain in the 2nd Regiment of York. His sons, John, William and George also held commissions. Daughter Barbara lost her husband during the war.
Following the War of 1812, life settled into an easier pattern for the Chisholms. Mary Christina was settled with her husband Ephraim Land in Barton Township. Barbara, a widow, was at home with her two boys. John had a successful career as Custom officer at the Burlington Bay outlet. William had married Rebecca Silverthorne and moved to Nelson Village area as a general merchant and buyer of wheat, oak staves and timber. George remained farming the homestead in East Flamborough.
By the time of the 1837 Rebellion, all four Chisholms- father and sons- held commissions as colonels in the militia. George Sr. was 85 years of age but still active enough to watch the proceedings around his home as the center for the Tory militia in this area. Little did he know that W. L. Mackenzie had supper at his neighbor’s farm (the Charles King home) on his escape to Navy Island.
George Sr. died in 1842 and was buried on a point of land jutting out into Burlington bay later called Filman’s Point. Many years later (1950) the graves were moved to Greenwood Cemetery and later to the Chisholm plot in Oakville.
The brick Chisholm home built in 1832 to replace the early log home, still stands on Plains Road near the stoplight at Kings Road. It was called Inverness after the Chisholm home in Scotland. (The second home built about 1825 still stands at 736 Kings Road). The King and Chisholm homes, probably the earliest surviving homes. In Burlington, are all that remains here of these very early pioneers, George Chisholm and Charles King.
In 1820, William, second son of George Chisholm, was elected member of East Halton in the House of Assembly of Upper Canada. He was one of the commissioners for the first Burlington Bay canal opened in 1826.
 

David O'Reilly

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scotto
11-04-2014, 06:18 AM
Jan. 31, 1978
Helen Langford
More of the Chisholms
During the War of 1812, George Chisholm Sr. was captain in the 2nd Regiment of York. His sons, John, William and George also held commissions. Daughter Barbara lost her husband during the war.
Following the War of 1812, life settled into an easier pattern for the Chisholms. Mary Christina was settled with her husband Ephraim Land in Barton Township. Barbara, a widow, was at home with her two boys. John had a successful career as Custom officer at the (Burlington Bay outlet). William had married Rebecca Silverthorne and moved to Nelson Village area as a general merchant and buyer of wheat, oak staves and timber. George remained farming the homestead in East Flamborough.
By the time of the 1837 Rebellion, all four Chisholms- father and sons- held commissions as colonels in the militia. George Sr. was 85 years of age but still active enough to watch the proceedings around his home as the center for the Tory militia in this area. Little did he know that W. L. Mackenzie had supper at his neighbor's farm (the Charles King home) on his escape to Navy Island.
George Sr. died in 1842 and was buried on a point of land jutting out into Burlington bay later called Filman's Point. Many years later (1950) the graves were moved to Greenwood Cemetery and later to the Chisholm plot in Oakville.
The brick Chisholm home built in 1832 to replace the early log home, still stands on Plains Road near the stoplight at Kings Road. It was called Inverness after the Chisholm home in Scotland. (The second home built about 1825 still stands at 736 Kings Road). The King and Chisholm homes, probably the earliest surviving homes. In Burlington, are all that remains here of these very early pioneers, George Chisholm and Charles King.
In 1820, William, second son of George Chisholm, was elected member of East Halton in the House of Assembly of Upper Canada. He was one of the commissioners for the first Burlington Bay canal opened in 1826.

Scott, do you know what is meant by 'custom officer at the Burlington Bay outlet? The dates here are vague, and there isn't any reference to the Burlington Canal. So were there schooners passing through the natural outlet, that were carying cargo?


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Drogo

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Scott, do you know what is meant by 'custom officer at the Burlington Bay outlet? The dates here are vague, and there isn't any reference to the Burlington Canal. So were there schooners passing through the natural outlet, that were carying cargo?


David this is my point of view. You will probably hear from Scott as well.

George Chisholm was a man who could always figure out how to make money. Often alittle more than his share. There are a number of places that make reference to the fact the George often showed very little custom business when things were properous. There was a duty on the outlet and later the canal. Ships paid to you through or product paid to go from Lake to Bay. There were arguments over the charges and more than once an agreement had to be reached as to whether they paid by weight or flat charge. One thing that wasn't ever debated was alot more ships and product passed the outlet and canal than a Chisholm recorded in the government books. It appears the practise passed from father to son. If you read different biographies on him you will see very different views of the same man.
 

scotto

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George Chisholm was a man who could always figure out how to make money. Often alittle more than his share. There are a number of places that make reference to the fact the George often showed very little custom business when things were properous. There was a duty on the outlet and later the canal. Ships paid to you through or product paid to go from Lake to Bay. There were arguments over the charges and more than once an agreement had to be reached as to whether they paid by weight or flat charge. One thing that wasn't ever debated was alot more ships and product passed the outlet and canal than a Chisholm recorded in the government books. It appears the practise passed from father to son. If you read different biographies on him you will see very different views of the same man.
I don't think that there is more that I could add to your findings, but some excerpts from Ray Mifflin's book "Harbour Lights Burlington Bay" has some more info and a conclusion to the Chisholm family business which can be added to the articles by Helen Langford.
According to the research by Ray Mifflin, George's son John was the first collector of tolls and customs at Burlington Bay Canal (Pg.18). He doesn't state that George collected tolls or customs at the Outlet, but writes;

"following the War of 1812, control of the Outlet fell into the hands of two very influential families, the Brants and the Chisholms. John Brant was leader of the Indian armies and his neighbour, George Chisholm, was a staunch Tory, Area Magistrate and Roads Commissioner
They set up a forwarding trade at the Outlet, taking advantage of the fact that fully loaded schooners could not navigate the harbour entrance. Warehouses were built, and goods from Dundas and Hamilton were sailed or rowed to the Outlet. They were then transferred onto schooners anchored in Lake Ontario. George Chisholm's son John was appointed Customs Collector at the Outlet,"

"Due to thriving forwarding and shipbuilding businesses, and the influence of the Brant and Chisholm families, the government was forced, to choose a site 100 yards south of the Outlet for their canal. It became the first public work contracted for in the newly formed Upper Canada.
On March 19, 1823, the government was authorized to obtain a loan of £5,000 sterling to begin construction of a canal in the District of Gore between Burlington Bay and Lake Ontario. Interest on the loan was to be paid for by tolls collected on goods and vessels. William Chisholm and William Kerr (brother-in-law of John Brant) were two of the commissioners appointed to oversee construction. These two families were determined to retain control of the harbour entrance."


"Prosperity flourished at the canal until September 14, 1841, when a Select Committee was appointed to examine the manner of collecting customs and inquire into any abuses.
The committee found that collectors were not subject to local supervision, that their account books were considered private property, and that monetary returns were entirely unsatisfactory The customs officers responded that their wages (5 percent of all tolls) were too small.
In England no two people from the same family were allowed to collect tolls, but at Burlington Bay nepotism ran wild. It was discovered that Collector of Customs at the canal, Wellington Square (Burlington) and Hamilton was John Chisholm, Sr. The deputy collector at the canal was his son John Chisholm, Jr. The deputy collectors at Wellington Square were yet another son of John Chisholm, Sr. and a Mr. Smith, son-in-law of John Chisholm, Sr. As well; the Collector of Customs at Oakville was John Chisholm Sr's. brother, William.
James Cull, Esquire, a civil engineer, gave further evidence that canal tolls and duties were mixed together so that neither could be accounted for. None of the Chisholms appeared before the committee, but John Chisholm, Sr. responded to written inquiries. When asked about annual receipts, he said he couldn't get the information without a great deal of trouble, and said he didn't know the number of vessels passing through the canal or their tonnage.
The government was furious and even began to survey a route for a new canal at Burlington Beach. However, the problem solved itself that very year with the failure of the Oakville Hydraulic Company owned by William Chisholm. The bank foreclosed on numerous Chisholm properties used as security in Wellington Square, Oakville and East Flamborough. The family lost prestige and John Chisholm, Sr was replaced by John Davidson as Customs Collector at the canal."
 

Drogo

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Well thank you Ray Mifflin. I was trying to be gentle because I don't have time to find sources for things I remember reading. Crooked as a dog's hind leg was where I was going!
 

David O'Reilly

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scotto
11-09-2014, 03:27 PM

"I don't think that there is more that I could add to your findings, but some excerpts from Ray Mifflin's book "Harbour Lights Burlington Bay" has some more info and a conclusion to the Chisholm family business which can be added to the articles by Helen Langford.
According to the research by Ray Mifflin, George's son John was the first collector of tolls and customs at Burlington Bay Canal (Pg.18). He doesn't state that George collected tolls or customs at the Outlet, but writes;

"following the War of 1812, control of the Outlet fell into the hands of two very influential families, the Brants and the Chisholms. John Brant was leader of the Indian armies and his neighbour, George Chisholm, was a staunch Tory, Area Magistrate and Roads Commissioner
They set up a forwarding trade at the Outlet, taking advantage of the fact that fully loaded schooners could not navigate the harbour entrance. Warehouses were built, and goods from Dundas and Hamilton were sailed or rowed to the Outlet. They were then transferred onto schooners anchored in Lake Ontario. George Chisholm's son John was appointed Customs Collector at the Outlet,"

"Due to thriving forwarding and shipbuilding businesses, and the influence of the Brant and Chisholm families, the government was forced, to choose a site 100 yards south of the Outlet for their canal. It became the first public work contracted for in the newly formed Upper Canada.
On March 19, 1823, the government was authorized to obtain a loan of £5,000 sterling to begin construction of a canal in the District of Gore between Burlington Bay and Lake Ontario. Interest on the loan was to be paid for by tolls collected on goods and vessels. William Chisholm and William Kerr (brother-in-law of John Brant) were two of the commissioners appointed to oversee construction. These two families were determined to retain control of the harbour entrance."


"Prosperity flourished at the canal until September 14, 1841, when a Select Committee was appointed to examine the manner of collecting customs and inquire into any abuses.
The committee found that collectors were not subject to local supervision, that their account books were considered private property, and that monetary returns were entirely unsatisfactory The customs officers responded that their wages (5 percent of all tolls) were too small.
In England no two people from the same family were allowed to collect tolls, but at Burlington Bay nepotism ran wild. It was discovered that Collector of Customs at the canal, Wellington Square (Burlington) and Hamilton was John Chisholm, Sr. The deputy collector at the canal was his son John Chisholm, Jr. The deputy collectors at Wellington Square were yet another son of John Chisholm, Sr. and a Mr. Smith, son-in-law of John Chisholm, Sr. As well; the Collector of Customs at Oakville was John Chisholm Sr's. brother, William.
James Cull, Esquire, a civil engineer, gave further evidence that canal tolls and duties were mixed together so that neither could be accounted for. None of the Chisholms appeared before the committee, but John Chisholm, Sr. responded to written inquiries. When asked about annual receipts, he said he couldn't get the information without a great deal of trouble, and said he didn't know the number of vessels passing through the canal or their tonnage.
The government was furious and even began to survey a route for a new canal at Burlington Beach. However, the problem solved itself that very year with the failure of the Oakville Hydraulic Company owned by William Chisholm. The bank foreclosed on numerous Chisholm properties used as security in Wellington Square, Oakville and East Flamborough. The family lost prestige and John Chisholm, Sr was replaced by John Davidson as Customs Collector at the canal.""
Scott, do you know what the difference is between 'tolls' and 'customs'?


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David O'Reilly

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11-09-2014, 09:36 PM
Scott, do you know what the difference is between 'tolls' and 'customs'?


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Customs would charge a tax on goods moved between borders, a toll is another tax charged to the vessel using a waterway or a lock system (as an example).

Scott, the Chisholms were charging customs at the natural outlet, at a time before 'cross border trade'. And in the early days of the Burlington Canal, there probably wasn't any international traid.

So were customs innicially being charged on the amount and or value of the cargo that was transported across the beach, and then once the canal opened, a toll was also charged on each boat? And, maybe the toll varryed with the size of the boat?
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scotto

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Scott, the Chisholms were charging customs at the natural outlet, at a time before ‘cross border trade’. And in the early days of the Burlington Canal, there probably wasn’t any international traid.

So were customs innicially being charged on the amount and or value of the cargo that was transported across the beach, and then once the canal opened, a toll was also charged on each boat? And, maybe the toll varryed with the size of the boat?
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I have been reading some vintage articles and from them some new words for "tax" come up, tariffs and duties. I assume there was trade with the other British colony, Lower Canada. But would there be an international tax placed on goods from there as that would include the Port of Montreal? Why wouldn't vessels trade goods with the Americans? I have no concrete answer to either question.

From reading old newspaper articles, I see that the department of the Minister of Finance in 1860 ordered that all tolls were to be discontinued at the Burlington Canal as well as the St. Lawrence, the St. Anne's Lock, the Rideau, Carillon and Grenville canals. But in 1868 complaints were made by the Board of Trade about these same tolls, Burlington Canal being the most expensive, 172,384 tons of cargo passed through at a cost of $18,904 as compared to St Anne's Lock which had 343,139 tons at a cost of only $7,399. A lock would be more costly to run than a canal.
 

scotto

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Scott, were tolls also collected at the canal on passenger ships?
I cannot see why they would be exempt as passengers ships also carried cargo;
From another article by Helen Langford on steam boat travel between Kingston and Hamilton;

"Some of these boats were considerably faster than others, and so the various skippers did everything in their power to capture the passengers and the freight"

To add, even though off topic;
The Globe from June 6, 1860 states that the tolls at Burlington Canal were finally removed;
Members Of Parliament
"We perceive Mr. Buchanan-the member for Hamilton-has given great satisfaction to the people of that city, by judiciously taking advantage of Mr. Galt's new measure for the abolition of canal tolls. Mr Buchanan has got the tolls removed in total from the Burlington Bay Canal and its contingent expense placed upon the broad shoulders of the Province. This is an affair of no trifling importance to the commerce of Hamilton; it will give the city the benefit of an untaxed water communication, without having to pay the expense of keeping it in repair.
(This article is from 1860, yet I am reading a few years later that the tolls are still there and a reduction requested, also notice that the Province (this is before Confederation) has control of the canal).
 

scotto

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Back to the Chisholms

Comunication
Helen Langford
Gazette
April 3, 1979
George Chisholm needed his schooling in Scotland. Reports had to be filed with the Government now at York (Toronto). The easiest way to get the reports to York was by water and Chisholm had boats. He even loaned one during the War of 1812 and never got it back! Sailing vessels traveled the lake, usually with trade goods such as precious salt from Oswego. They all carried mail as a side line. But there were times when the lake, was rough and inconvenient.
For more than a decade George traveled the Indian trail along the ridge left by old Lake Iroquois through Mississauga lands to York. The numerous creeks were a challenge but the most dangerous element was the Mississaugas who were none too friendly since their chief had been killed by a British soldier in a drunken brawl.
Travelling to Niagara was not much better for easy terrain but in 1797 the first bridge, was built across the outlet on the beach. George Chisholm was a commissioner for its construction. The first good storm washed this bridge, out and so it was rebuilt. All the action was towards Niagara. Friends and relatives were settled and enjoyed visits. A newspaper was even printed at Niagara on-the-Lake before -1800.
Letters were carried by travelers. Charles King sent one to his sons at Queenston this way in 1812 - no stamps, just a friendly gesture. The same pony express was used to relatives and friends still in the United States. We have copies of letters sent before 1800 to Harpersfield and The Delaware Valley from both the Bates and King families here.
George Chisholm decided to pay a visit to his confiscated home in New York State in 1803. Lord Selkirk, upon hearing of this plan, gave George a horse and asked him to contact good loyal British in the Delaware Valley with the promise of land and settlement assistance. At the same time George carried mail to the area as a friend.
Wintertime was eagerly awaited. The trails were frozen and easy to travel in a sleigh - Mrs. Simcoe described such joyful outings. It's hard to imagine Burlington with only trails - no Brant St., Lake shore Rd., or Skyway Bridge. It is easy to imagine life without mail service! But what would we do with all the free time without a telephone, radio or television.
 

David O'Reilly

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scotto
11-12-2014, 02:19 AM
Scott, were tolls also collected at the canal on passenger ships?

I cannot see why they would be exempt as passengers ships also carried cargo;
From another article by Helen Langford on steam boat travel between Kingston and Hamilton;

"Some of these boats were considerably faster than others, and so the various skippers did everything in their power to capture the passengers and the freight"

To add, even though off topic;
The Globe from June 6, 1860 states that the tolls at Burlington Canal were finally removed;
Members Of Parliament
"We perceive Mr. Buchanan-the member for Hamilton-has given great satisfaction to the people of that city, by judiciously taking advantage of Mr. Galt's new measure for the abolition of canal tolls. Mr Buchanan has got the tolls removed in total from the Burlington Bay Canal and its contingent expense placed upon the broad shoulders of the Province. This is an affair of no trifling importance to the commerce of Hamilton; it will give the city the benefit of an untaxed water communication, without having to pay the expense of keeping it in repair.
(This article is from 1860, yet I am reading a few years later that the tolls are still there and a reduction requested, also notice that the Province (this is before Confederation) has control of the canal).”

Scott,

Here is something on the 1860 Abolition of Canal Tolls on among others, the Burlington Canal.


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Daily News (Kingston, ON), 2 Jun 1860



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p.2 Abolition of Canal Tolls - By proclamation in the Canada Gazette all tolls are abolished on the St. Lawrence, Rideau, Carillon and Grenville Canals, Saint Ann's Lock and the Burlington Bay Canal. Vessels and goods, whether in Canadian or American vessels, will hereafter pass free, up and down.
On the Welland Canal the present tolls will continue to be exacted; but of the tolls so paid 90 % will be refunded whenever the vessels and goods on which they have been levied shall enter the St. Lawrence Canals, or report inwards, and enter the goods at any Canadian port on Lake Ontario or on the St. Lawrence. Bonds to be given that such goods are bona fide for consumption in Canada, or to be shipped via the St. Lawrence.
Upward bound vessels, if hailing from a Canadian port, or coming up through the St. Lawrence Canals, will pay only ten per cent of the present tariff, on furnishing satisfactory evidence of the facts.
The Harbor Commissioners of Montreal have officially announced that an order in Council will be shortly issued abolishing the tonnage on vessels passing and repassing Lake St. Peter, and that the tonnage duties collected subsequent to the 19th May, from which date the order is to take effect, will be refunded.”

http://images.maritimehistoryofthegreatlakes.ca/17636/data
 

scotto

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By Dorothy Turcotte
Burlington Memories of Pioneer Days

CHISHOLM
When George Chisholm and his family immigrated to Upper Canada, they renewed friendships with Joseph Brant and John Graves Simcoe, whom they had met in the United States. George Chisholm and his brother John had emigrated from Inverness, Scotland, in 1773, settling in the Catskill Mountains of New York state. During the American Revolution, George fought with General Burgoyne's troops, thus making the acquaintance of Brant and Simcoe, who were also fighting for the Loyalists.
After the war Chisholm lived for a while in Nova Scotia. Then he decided to move his family to the Niagara area to be near his brother John. While working in Fort Erie, George became a close friend of another Loyalist immigrant, Charles King.
Looking for greener pastures, the two men agreed to look for land at the Head-of-the-Lake. In 1793 they purchased adjoining tracts from Dr. Robert Kerr. Chisholm's land stretched from the King property on the west to Joseph Brant's land on the east. The Chisholm house, nostalgically named Inverness, was built just east of King Road on Plains Road and remained there until the fall of 1987.
At the time of the move Chisholm and his wife, Barbara, had five children: Mary Christina, 11; John, 9; William, 6; Barbara, 3; and George, 1. A year later twin girls completed their family.
George Chisholm soon became involved in local affairs. When Simcoe, then governor of Upper Canada, passed through the area, he appointed Chisholm magistrate. In 1797 he was a commissioner of the first bridge built over the Old Outlet on the beach, and the same year he was a commissioner for the final purchase of Brant's Block from the Mississauga Indians. Completion of this sale meant that the Chisholm family's new neighbour was their old friend Joseph Brant. Both Chisholm and Brant were Freemasons and were early members of Barton Lodge, Hamilton.
When the War of 1812 began, Chisholm and all three of his sons enlisted. Although 60 years of age, George Chisholm was a valiant soldier at the Battle of Queenston Heights. The three Chisholm sons had as much grit as their father. Each one led an interesting life.
John, the eldest, was something of a phenomenon. Educated at the common school in East Flamborough, he was proprietor of a tavern at the Old Outlet at the beach when he was only 17 years old. Before long he had expanded his business interests to include the importing and forwarding of goods from this strategic location. His store there may have been the first post office in Nelson Township. John was also the collector of customs for the Port of Burlington. His holdings expanded further in 1816 when he acquired land at Indian Point from his friend John Brant.
Shortly after the Burlington Canal was cut through the Beach Strip, John Chisholm petitioned the Township of East Flamborough for compensation for loss of business, saying, "... since the passing of the Act of the Legislature for constructing the Burlington Canal, the usual flow of water which formerly passed through the Original Outlet finds its way through the Canal, in consequence of which the Original Outlet has completely shut up, thusly rendering the property of your Petitioner of little or no value."
John's business dealings undoubtedly brought him into frequent contact with the Gage family at the Stoney Creek store, and thus also with the Davis family. At any rate, in 1803 he married William Davis's daughter, Sarah, and they took up residence at the store at the beach.
John and Sarah's daughter Hannah married Hiram Smith. This young man and Hannah's brother, Andrew, continued the business partnership of Joel Smith and John Chisholm. In 1834 Hiram made a trip to establish business contacts in Brockville, Montreal and Oswego. His overtures were well received, and the expanded business was launched. In 1837 the firm of Smith and Chisholm was granted a license "to have and use One Still, for the purpose of distilling spirituous liquors, containing thirty Gallons, and no more." For many years the store and warehouse of Smith and Chisholm were busy centres of commercial activity in Wellington Square.
When Andrew Chisholm's property was put up for sale in October 1873, it was described as follows in The Canadian Champion:
"For Sale at Wellington Square, 475 acres of land with magnificent residence known as the Andrew Chisholm or Swinyard Place. Fronting on Lake Ontario, one minute walk of the Post Office, Telegraph Office, wharf and business part of the village. House thoroughly remodeled throughout, over one and a half acres of ground nicely laid out in lawns, ornamental and fruit trees, vegetable and fruit garden, driving house, stables etc. The Farm contains 475 acres of choice land fronting on Lake Ontario opposite the Burlington Canal at the junction of Burlington Beach with the mainland. (A part of the Brant Farm.) It is immediately at the Wellington Square station of the Hamilton and Northwestern Railway... Farm to be sold in bloc or one or more farms, in a high state of cultivation, well-fenced, nicely watered, several spring creeks, 2 mammoth barns with stone basements, 2 small houses for workmen, large young orchard, 2000 apple, 1600 pear, several hundred peach, plum, cherry, some already bearing, also 100 acres in E. Flamborough about three miles from Wellington Square, 40 acres cleared and fenced, 20 of which are planted with fruit trees.
signed Benj. Eager"

William Chisholm, the second son, moved to the village of Nelson, where he became a successful merchant. He bought wheat and timber, and also made barrel staves of white oak, which were shipped from the Old Outlet. William became known as "Whiteoaks" Chisholm, a name that later went with him to Oakville. In 1820 he was elected to the House of Assembly of Upper Canada as the member for Halton East. He also owned a shipyard on the bay and by 1827 owned five sailing vessels, including the first to sail through the new Burlington Canal in 1826. At the same time, he was one of the commissioners of the Burlington Canal, and later of the Welland Canal, as well.
William Chisholm's keen interest in shipping led him to recognize the potential of the natural harbour at the mouth of Sixteen Mile Creek. When Indian land in this area was auctioned in 1827, William purchased 960 acres for $4,116 and became the founder of the town of Oakville.
As colonel of the 2nd Regiment of Gore Militia, William Chisholm sent out the call for volunteers to go to Chippewa at Christmas 1837. His letter dated December 23 to Captain Hiram Smith is quoted from Oakville and the Sixteen:
"Sir
You are directed to ascertain without delay what number of volunteers you can raise to meet at Wellington Square by 7 o'clock on the morning of the 25th instant to proceed under the command of Capt. Chalmers to join the detachment proceeding with Colonel McNab to the Lines — It is expected that such only as are active efficient men, and can leave home without great inconvenience are to go — Such as have Queens Arms and Accoutrements and do not go are to deliver them to those who do — You will also provide teams to carry such as go who will be paid at Twenty Shillings p' diem.
W. Chisholm Col. 2d RGM"

The response to this call was excellent. Twelve local citizens provided sleighs, including Thomas Atkinson, the Pearts, the McGregors, the Pettits, the Bastedos, Joseph Ireland, the McCarleys, and Colonel Chisholm himself. Among the 100 volunteers who made the journey to Chippewa on that Christmas Day were Benjamin Tuck, Joseph Tansley, John Atkinson, Stephen Atkinson, Joseph Pickett, William Easterbrook, Thomas Atkinson Jr., Thomas Tansley, Sam McGregor, William Bastedo, James Coulson, John Easterbrook, Richard Dalton, D. Patrick McGregor, Jacob Bastedo, John Chisholm, David Bastedo, Andrew Davidson, David Davidson, William Williamson, John Williamson, William Blanchard and John Smith.
George Chisholm Jr., the youngest son, married one of Robert Land's granddaughters, Elizabeth McCarter, and remained on the family farm with his parents. However, his life was far from dull. He fought at Queenston Heights with his father and brothers. A staunch Tory, he helped to quell the Rebellion of 1837.
George Jr. was one of those who witnessed the burning of the American ship Caroline on December 29, 1837. The steamer had been carrying men and supplies across the Niagara River to assist the rebels. A Canadian party, including Chisholm and Captain Edward Zealand of Hamilton, crossed the river, cut the ship adrift, set fire to it, and watched it break up before plunging over the Falls in burning sections. This act of bravado nearly precipitated an international incident.
 
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