Yet, Brock died in the first months of the war, in October 1812. The war raged on for three more years. Only historians seem to remember the name of the man who took over leadership at Queenston Heights, though he won a baronetcy for his valour. That man, Sir Roger Hale Sheaffe, also become Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada during the war years, yet his portrait does not hang in Queen’s Park. Hale’s obscurity may be coming to end, thanks in part of the efforts of Linda Stanley, founder of Canadian Art Cards.
“Sir Roger Hale Sheaffe is a man almost completely forgotten,” said Stanley. “He was not a popular commander.”
Sheaffe was disliked by citizens of Upper Canada and his own troops. Though he won at the Battle of Queenston Heights, his cautious leadership meant he was later accused of cowardice. At the Battle of York, he withdrew his regular troops, and left the local militia to be killed or captured. American forces burned and looted the town, and Sheaffe was removed from command and from his office as Lieutenant Governor. As a result, some of his positive actions are forgotten.