Tiger Dunlop’s role in War of 1812

Huron County historian, author and artist Paul Carrroll is releasing a new book about William Tiger Dunlop (1792 –  1848).

Carroll’s book, The Tiger: Soldier, Engineer and Army Surgeon, explores Dunlop’s contributions during the 1812 war.

Caroll says a large portion of the book is from Dunlop’s own work, Recollections of the American War.

“It is essentially an editor’s version of much of the Tiger’s own work, with commentary added and expansions as deemed appropriate or necessary,” Carroll writes in the Foreword.

“I want this book about Dunlop’s role in the War of 1812 to be a volume for popular consumption, easy to read; and, to be less challenging for the reader than many formal histories tend to be.”

Williams worked on wounded men at  Crysler’s Farm and Lundy’s Lane battles and others. It is said he worked tirelessly and often alone to treat the wounded.

Dunlop is a beloved character in Huron and beyond. He was an MP in the first Parliament of the Parliament of Canada.

He also worked for the Canada Company, was an author, justice of the peace and held other positions.

The kids and I went to visit Tiger Dunlop’s tomb just outside Goderich.

They found it quite fascinating.

His tomb is where Carroll’s book launch will be held on Aug. 5 at 3 p.m. It’s just outside Goderich off Hwy. 21 north. Take Airport Rd. Word is Dunlop will be there.

Carroll sent me the pictures above. He acquired rights to use the Dunlop picture from the Royal Ontario Museum version of the restored image that was at the Butler’s Barracks Museum at Niagara. It is in colour in his book.

The field hospital image is from the U.S. Civil War  and the only visual of its kind that Carroll could find.

As the bicentennial commemorations continue, it’s nice that a local hero is being recognized.


13 thoughts on “Tiger Dunlop’s role in War of 1812

  1. Dunlop has left us an amazing journal to address the events during the rather ramshackle War of 1812, as well as a broad social commentary about life in the Canadas in the 1812-14 era. He is an amazing writer. I hope my ‘adaptations’ for the modern-day reader will honour the man and his legacy for all of us. He was a great Canadian who is often portrayed as a ‘school boy’ or a ‘buffoon’ simply because of his love for a practical joke and his outrageous sense of humour, that, even today, biographers do not seem to understand. He often writes in a manner that ‘goes right over our heads’, so to speak. If you cannot get a copy of the book at your local book store, let me know.

    • I am trying to get a copy of Paul Carroll’s book and Chapters has not been able to – can you contact me about ordering? Thanks. Audrey

  2. Dunlop of course is a recognized Ontario person of interest, and has an early freestanding blue OHF/T plaque (as does Butler). He is know for his remarkable Will (text copied from a legal site so trust accurate.
    ” In the name of God, amen.I, William Dunlop, of Gairbraid, in the Township of Colborne, County and District of Huron, Western Canada, Esquire, being in sound health of body, and my mind just as usual (which my friends who flatter me say is no great shakes at the best of times), do make this my last Will and Testament as follows, revoking, of course, all former Wills. I leave the property of Gairbraid, and all other landed property I may die possessed of, to my sisters Helen Boyle Story and Elizabeth Boyle Dunlop; the former because she is married to a minister whom (God help him) she henpecks. The latter because she is married to nobody, nor is she like to be, for she is an old maid, and not market-rife.

    And also, I leave to them and their heirs my share of the stock and implements on the farm; provided always, that the enclosure round my brother’s grave be reserved, and if either should die without issue, then the other to inherit the whole.

    I leave to my sister-in-law, Louisa Dunlop, all my share of the household furniture and such traps, with the exceptions hereinafter mentioned.

    I leave my silver tankard to the eldest son of old John, as the representative of the family. I would have left it to old John himself, but he would melt it down to make temperance medals, and that would be sacrilege— however, I leave my big horn snuff-box to him: he can only make temperance horn spoons of that.

    I leave my sister Jenny my Bible, the property formerly of my great-great-grandmother, Bethia Hamilton, of Woodhall, and when she knows as much of the spirit of it as she does of the letter, she will be another guise Christian than she is.

    I also leave my late brother’s watch to my brother Sandy, exhorting him at the same time to give up Whiggery, Radicalism, and all other sins that do most easily beset him.

    I leave my brother Alan my big silver snuff-box, as I am informed he is rather a decent Christian, with a swag belly and a jolly face.

    I leave Parson Chevasse (Magg’s husband), the snuff-box I got from the Sarnia Militia, as a small token of my gratitude for the service he has done the family in taking a sister that no man of taste would have taken.

    I leave John Caddle a silver teapot, to the end that he may drink tea therefrom to comfort him under the affliction of a slatternly wife.

    I leave my books to my brother Andrew, because he has been so long a Jungley Wallah, that he may learn to read with them.

    I give my silver cup, with a sovereign in it, to my sister Janet Graham Dunlop, because she is an old maid and pious, and therefore will necessarily take to horning. And also my Granma’s snuff mull, as it looks decent to see an old woman taking snuff.

    I do hereby constitute and appoint John Dunlop, Esquire, of Gairbraid; Alexander Dunlop, Esquire, Advocate, Edinburgh; Alan C. Dunlop, Esquire, and William Chalk, of Tuckersmith ; William Stewart and William Gooding, Esquires, of Goderich, to be the executors of this my last Will and Testament.

    In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the thirty-first day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-two.

  3. Tiger was not Loveable to all. The detail in this Will- without the personal
    remarks -is not unusual for that century. Even deciding who gets the cow.
    Old ones get up Western to the Regional aka Talman collection. They can
    be copied for minimum cost and those with people here at that time will find
    it well worth asking for insights into family style and relationships.

  4. “Tiger” certainly was not loved by all. At the end of his political career, for example, he had fallen out of favour with close friends and allies alike.The political ‘schism’ at the time of his death is noteworthy. The school kids got a holiday when his remains were interred at Gairbraid in 1849, yet the local newspaper, to the best of local knowledge, made no mention of his burial. I have offered some of these observations in the appendices to this book – but, I did not reproduce the famous Will!

  5. Glad haven’t stepped on your editorial toes…
    Our host may wish to revisit her assessment as “beloved” over in Huron Co.

  6. Ah, but “post 1896” – and the tributes from the Lizars sisters in their social history, IN THE DAYS OF THE CANADA COMPANY, he has been transformed into a local hero! And, we all love him today! [Some of us have personal knowledge about how to fall ‘in’ and ‘out’ of favour with a number of the locals ! 😉 ] I offered a few comments about his transformation as well….

  7. Yes, recognized your name and your role in the recent Goderich tragedy.
    Also see you did a series of paintings of a local heritage structure, a
    lighthouse, documenting the changes over the years. Terrific idea.
    Sometimes people have no idea of the “social history” of such things,
    just exposed to photos Coloured Now and Sepia Back-Then.
    This can lead to ‘Instant Heritage’ opinions…

  8. Paul and Getting Even,
    Hard to find someone now in Huron County that doesn’t speak adoringly of Dunlop and his contributions. I think what you say is true Paul, he has become a local hero.
    People in the region are, dare I say “proud”, considering the response I received about pride in our health care system, of Dunlop being one of their own.
    And glad Getting Even picked up on Paul’s fight to preserve local heritage after the short sightedness of council.

  9. Everyone nowadays seems to be saying how proud they are these days,
    usually about something someone else accomplished, It’s getting to sound
    a bit show-offy (and dare I say it, somewhat Yankee ?) ‘Take pride in’
    is better,.surely?
    Adoringly does sound a bit romantic for a dead old Scot. A local hero is
    what he has become over there and fair enough. People can’t be too
    well informed about the people who created the past we commonly
    inherited, with all their faults and virtues. Enjoy Kathy, having your
    Tiger moment.

  10. I’m getting really curious as to why a blog commentator would use “Getting Even” for an anonym – so I took a quick “Google” and found an article titled: Getting Even versus Getting Over It: Think Twice Before Enacting Your Revenge – Punishing your enemy is bad for your mental health (but vengeful daydreams are okay), by Jesse Bering… sooooo, what’s with the need to hammer Kathy in what appears to be such a picayune way? Hit me too: I am “proud” of my heritage and my community’s founders. They built great foundations, etc,. I “adore” the romance of the written records so many of them have created for us: Dunlop, Galt, Lizars, Strickland, Moody, Wingfield, Gibson, et al….. And I do want to share that stuff however my talents might allow me, so that others of my generation and my own descendants might also respect, celebrate and take pride in the heritage of their antecedents. 😉 P. (Cheerfully!)

  11. ‘Getting even’ simply came to mind thinking of Dunlop’s Will, where
    I entered this chat. We used to talk about the fun he must have
    had years ago writing it, when first hearing of the document up
    in Huron.and visiting there. ..Long before one could assume the
    source was something on google.
    Sorry if you feel “hit” and will retire from this exchange as the topic
    is your new publication.
    Kathy has the option of not posting something she finds offensive
    or even getting back to the contributer to ask him/her to soften
    it and repost. (Hammer and Picayune does seem a personal insult.)
    [“Proud” is left over from her Canada Post discussion.”Take pride
    in” -which you use too- seems to deal with the achievements of other
    families and our shared heritage generally but indeed am “proud”
    when find those surnames in our pioneer family background.
    Which Wingfield did you have in mind?

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