WHEN OAKVILLE RIVALLED TORONTO 193
more important than life itself. It is not surprising that a son of the man who gave the site for "Old Boston" was among the prisoners confined in Fort William Henry after the col-lapse of the rising of 'thirty-seven. Neither is it surprising to learn that he was one of a number who dug their way out through a wall four and a half feet in thickness and, after securing a boat, made their way across the St. Lawrence to American territory.
For this story of The Scotch Block I had to depend, in the main, on the instrument conveying the site on which Boston Church stands and on the records carved in moss-grown headstones surrounding the sacred edifice. This is because the story was not written until 1918, a century after the formation of the settlement, and by that time even some of those of the third generation were in the "sear, the yellow leaf." But the parchment, yellow with age, and the lettering carved on granite or marble slabs are sufficient of themselves to enable one to form a mental picture of the men and women who blazed the trail into Esquesing. In every sentence written on the parchment there breathes the spirit of freedom first inhaled amid Scottish hills. Every headstone beneath the shelter of the church bears testimony to that heart-felt affection, ceasing only when life itself ceased, for the land of brown heath and shaggy wood beyond the sea.
Over the grave of John Stewart is recorded the fact that the father of The Block was born in Perth and was descended from the Stewarts of Drumcharry, Rossmount, and Duntaulich,