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HMS Speedy

The Tragedy and the Mystery of the Final Voyage

By: Dan Buchanan

Price: CAD $25.00

Publisher: Milner & Associates Inc.

Imprint: Milner & Associates Inc.

288 Pages

9 X 6 ins

ISBN:  9781988344249 -- Paperback

Publication Date: 06/18/2020

The true story of the 1804 wreck and its place in Canadian history.

The sinking of the HMS Speedy in 1804 off Presqu'ile Point, Ontario, was a shocking event for the families and friends of the twenty souls onboard the ship - and had far-reaching repercussions for the young colony that would become Canada.

Ogetonicut, a Mississauga First Nations man, was charged with murdering John Sharp, a white trader accused of killing Ogetonicut's brother and never brought to trial for the crime. As Ogetonicut's own trial in York for the murder of the white man drew near, the authorities feared angering the indigenous community, thus causing them to refuse to fight with the British if the Americans were to invade, so they moved the trial east to Newcastle. HMS Speedy, the only military ship in the bay at the time, was used to transport the solicitor general and all the legal team as well as the accused. But on the night of October 8, the Speedy was lost in a violent storm; there were no survivors and the ship could not be found. The impact on Upper Canada was profound when the legal elite of the young colony were completely wiped out in the wreck.

The Speedy lay untouched on the bottom of Lake Ontario until commercial diver Ed Burtt began a search for it in the early 1990s. The modern-day mystery surrounding the Speedy is just one thread in a complex web of connected storylines. From Captain Paxton, the tragic figure at the helm of the Speedy that stormy day, to the Lieutenant Governor who wanted a swift trial away from York, to Ogetonicut, the figure at the centre of it all - the focus is firmly on the people involved, their circumstances and relationships, and how they were buffeted by the vagaries of authoritarian rule in a wilderness colony.

A unique look at an historic event in Upper Canada, and an important element in the perpetual struggle to understand our roots as a nation.

Dan Buchanan, a genealogist and historian, is well known as "The History Guy" for his passionate involvement in many organizations and projects related to Ontario's history and heritage. He has written two books: Murder in the Family: The Dr. King Story and 38 Hours to Montreal: William Weller and the Governor General's Race of 1840. Dan is an engaging storyteller as a guest speaker for clubs and groups across Ontario. He is also the host of history videos and creator of a massive genealogy web site, www.treesbydan.com, which is used by researchers all over the world to make connections and gather information about the family tree they are pursuing. He lives in Brighton, Ontario, focusing on research into local and Ontario history, and finding imaginative ways to bring our past to life. See also www.danbuchananhistoryguy.com.


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