The American invasion of Canada in 1775
The American invasion of Canada in 1775

The American invasion of Canada in 1775

Larry Holzwarth - January 3, 2020

The American invasion of Canada in 1775
Major General John Sullivan led punitive expeditions against Eastern tribes, joined by Henry Dearborn. Wikimedia

24. The aftermath of the invasion of Canada

On New Year’s Day, 1776, British troops in Quebec found the frozen body of Brigadier General Richard Montgomery, nearly buried in the snow. It was given a funeral by the priests of Quebec, and buried there. In 1818, it was disinterred and sent to New York, for burial with military honors. Henry Dearborn was paroled by the British and exchanged, returning to the American service in time to see action during the Saratoga campaign, and later served with General John Sullivan during the punitive campaigns against the Iroquois and the Six Nations. During the Jefferson Presidency, he served as Secretary of War.

Daniel Morgan was one of the last men to surrender during the ill-fated attack on Quebec, and he was treated harshly by his captors. The British considered the tactics used by the riflemen he commanded (especially the targeting of officers) to be conducted outside the rules of civilized warfare. He and his men received punitive treatment by the British, and Morgan developed a resentment toward his enemy which he never fully overcame. Morgan was exchanged in 1777, and rejoined Washington’s army, forming a new Virginia riflemen regiment to replace the one lost at Quebec. He too fought in the Saratoga Campaign, including alongside Henry Dearborn at the Battle of Freeman’s Farm.

The American invasion of Canada in 1775
Sir Guy Carleton commanded all British troops in North America at the end of the war. Wikimedia

25. Sir Guy Carleton commanded in Canada through the end of the war

Carleton remained in command in Canada, and in 1782 assumed command of all British troops in North America. He directed the withdrawal of the British from New York City in 1783, which included Loyalists and escaping slaves. They were transported from New York to Halifax as the Continental Army entered New York. Carleton enforced the British position that all slaves and former slaves in British territory were free, which led to Canada becoming a goal for the Underground Railroad in the United States. Many of the former slaves were later transported to Sierra Leone on British ships.

In 1796 Carleton left Canada for the final time, returning to Great Britain and semi-retirement. Carleton, who also bore the title Lord Dorchester, is honored by that name as well as his surname in multiple places in Canada, including Ottawa’s Carleton University, and Dorchester Square in Montreal. In the United States, Benedict Arnold’s name is synonymous with treachery and treason.


Where do we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

“Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution”. Joseph T. Glatthaar, James K. Martin. 2006

“March on Quebec”. Willard Sterne Randall, American Heritage Magazine. Fall, 2008

“Through a Howling Wilderness: Benedict Arnold’s March to Quebec”. Thomas A. Desjardin. 2006

“Benedict Arnold: Revolutionary Hero”. James Kirby Martin. 1997

“Major General Richard Montgomery”. Article, National Museum of the United States Army. July 16, 2014. Online

“Journal of Captain Henry Dearborn of the Quebec Expedition”. Henry Dearborn. 1775

“Major General Richard Montgomery: The Making of an American Hero”. Michael P. Gabriel. 2002

“Daniel Morgan: Ranger of the Revolution”. North Callahan. 1961

“General Richard Montgomery and the American Revolution”. Hal Shelton. 1994

“Arnold’s March from Cambridge to Quebec”. Justin H. Smith. 1903

“Battle for the Fourteenth Colony: America’s War of Liberation in Canada, 1774 – 1776”. Mark. R. Anderson. 2013

“Quebec 1775: The American Invasion of Canada”. Brendan Morrissey. 2003

“Canada and the American Revolution”. Article, Holly A. Mayer. Museum of the American Revolution. Online

“Benedict Arnold’s Navy”. James Nelson. 2006

“Battle at Valcour Island: Benedict Arnold As Hero”. Timothy William Hubbard, American Heritage Magazine. October, 1966

“The Real Benedict Arnold”. Jim Murphy. 2007

“George Washington’s Opponents”. George A. Billias, ed. 1969