The Grand River. Ouse. Tinaatoua.

The Grand River is situated  in southwestern Ontario. From its source near Wareham it flows southeast through the Grand valley–Fergus, Elora, Waterloo, Kitchener, Galt/Cambridge, Paris, Brantford, Ohsweken, Caledonia, and Cayuga–before emptying into the north shore of Lake Erie south of Dunnville at Port Maitland.

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In 1784 the Grand River/Tinaatoua and lands adjacent to the river for six miles on either side, including timber and minerals, were the property and within the sovereignty of the Six Nations Confederacy, allies of the British Crown during the American rebellion of 1776-1783. The Six Nations are Mohawk, Oneida, Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga and Tuscarora. For sixty years after the birth of the USA, the Crown and the Family Compact colluded to overwhelm the Confederacy’s territory with settlers. They manipulated the people into surrendering land via the Grand River Navigation Company swindle. Issues of land claims and Haudenosaunee sovereignty remain before the courts.

feature image: catching fish in a weir

1 Grand River, photo credit Eric Praetzel

 

 

Stories that feature The Grand River. Ouse. Tinaatoua.

The Grand River Navigation Company Swindle

Upper Canada’s William Hamilton Merritt and David Thompson 1 are entrepreneurs and visionaries and they catch a bug. They catch “canal fever,” which, along with malaria, is running rampant on this continent in the 1830s. “Canal fever” is an unhealthy obsession with building canals – a pun on the mosquito-born illnesses that plague the navvies who do the... Read more …

The Markham Gang, 1845-46

“Gang members took an oath of secrecy. They vowed to support each other in any way possible. They pledged to provide alibis in case they were arrested, and to back each other in court. This was a homegrown, nineteenth century Canadian ‘Mafia,’ a ‘mob,’ one of the earliest known cases of organized crime in British... Read more …

The War of 1812: ‘The Bloody Assize’ and the creation of a Canadian folkway

“The contortions of the poor men so shook the loosely constructed gallows that a heavy brace became loosened and fell, striking one of the victims on the head and killing him instantly, thus relieving him from the tortures of the rope. After the men had been duly strangled, their heads were chopped off and exhibited... Read more …

United Empire Loyalists and late loyalists

The American Revolution blazes a hasty trail to British Québec and the blazing continues into Upper and Lower Canada until 1815. Two kinds of American folkways come to Upper and Lower Canada: first round (pro British) in 1784, and second round (pro American) in 1790.   Ruth McConnell says the immediate effect of the American Revolution... Read more …

Classic demonization: Joseph Thayendanegea Brant, Canajoharie Mohawk

Bargaining is fraught with danger. You may pick the wrong prize. You may make a deal with the wrong person(s). You may wager the wrong amount and lose more than you can afford. The wrong partner may trick you to ruin the deal. A bad bargain is awful enough. But what happens when you cannot make the bargain... Read more …