4SETTLEMENT ON THE SYDENHAM

Lord Selkirk’s Investiture for the land at Baldoon. Courtesy of Wallaceburg and District Museum
Lord Selkirk's Investiture for the land at Baldoon. Courtesy of Wallaceburg and District Museum
After the War of 1812, the British government encouraged thousands of people from Britain to come to Southwestern Ontario. There were three main reasons for this:

1. The British were afraid that Americans would invade through the Sydenham River area again as they had at Baldoon. If there were settlements in the area, the settlers could warn the British and fight against the Americans.

2. To help poor people in Britain. In England, the end of the war meant that many soldiers were out of work. They were starving and homeless. In Ireland, landlords had mismanaged the lands, which led to the Potato Famine. Since potatoes were the main source of income and food, thousands of Irish were starving. In Scotland, landlords chose to graze sheep in the Highlands, and they forced the Scottish Highlanders to leave. In an effort to help these people, the British government began to give away land in Upper Canada.

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