THE WAR WITH THE UNITED STATES. 171
The Right The ill-feeling of the Americans towards
of Search. the British was increased by the latter's insisting on their right to search all American vessels, except those belonging to the navy, for runaway sailors. In 1807 the commander of a British ship, the Leopard, when refused leave to search the United States frigate Chesapeake, fired upon it, killed several of its crew, and carried off three or four deserters by force. The British government promptly tried to make amends for this act, but the Americans naturally felt very angry.
In June, 1812, war was declared against Great Britain, professedly on account of the injustice done to neutral nations by the orders-in-council. But the New England States did not wish to go to war, and in Boston harbour the flags on the vessels were hung half-mast high as a sign of disapproval.(
Canada Three armies were quickly prepared to Threatened. cross the border, and to many people it seemed that Canada must be conquered. The population of the United States was about fifteen times that of Canada, and England, still engaged in her life and death struggle with Napoleon, was not at first able to send much help to her colonies. On the other hand, the United States had only a small navy, and her armies consisted chiefly of new soldiers, who were neither well-trained nor well-armed.
Canadians Misled, perhaps, by the noisy struggle for
Ready to political liberty, the Americans expected
Fight. that many of the Canadians would join their armies. But they were grievously disappointed. In Upper and Lower Canada alike the different parties ceased to quarrel, and turned with one consent upon the common enemy. The assemblies voted supplies of money, and everywhere men offered themselves for the defence of the country. Regiments were raised in the Maritime