Welland History .ca

The TALES you probably never heard about

CAPT. MARTIN McLELLAN

NIAGARA, Sept. 28th, 1897

[Welland Tribune, 1 October 1897]

To the Editor of the Welland Tribune:

DEAR SIR- I have just read with great pleasure an article in your issue of Sept. 24th relating to Capt. Martin McLellan, and so I am able to add a few interesting particulars, think it only right to do so, hoping that every municipality in the country may be stirred up to imitate the very laudable example set by Thorold in preparing a local history. In two old record books in the town may be found items referring to both William McLellan, the father, and Martin McLellan, the son, honorable to each. In the record book of St. Andrew’s church, dated 30th Sept., 1794: “A number of people met this day and resolved that as religion is the foundation of all societies, and which cannot be so strictly adhered to without a place dedicated solely to divine purposes, that a Presbyterian church should be erected in the town of Newark, and that subscriptions for that purpose be immediately set on foot, as well as for the support of a clergyman of the same persuasion. “ The committee consisted of seven-John Young, Four Mile Creek, chairman; Ralph Clench, Andrew Heron, Robt. Kerr, Alex. Gardiner, William McLellan and Alex. Hemphill.

In the record book of the Niagara library, from 1800 to 1820, the name of Martin McLellan, who must then have been twenty-two years of age, occurs as one of the forty-one proprietors who formed the library, and also one of the tow trustees the first year (the other Andrew Heron}; during the years following he is frequently mentioned as trustee till 1811, and in the list of payment of fees, his name occurs till 1812, the year of his glorious death, showing that he was not only a brave soldier but a reader, and one who wished to help others in the laudable undertaking of founding a library.

In the rooms of the Niagara Historical society may be seen the pocket book kindly loaned by Mr. Martin McClellan, Fonthill with the subscription in his own hand, the writing the same as the signature in the above mentioned record book. Since the pathetic circumstance is now known in respect to his giving the purse to his wife the night before his death still greater interest will be shown by visitors in inspecting this valuable historic relic.

It is also told that the morning of the battle, when our forces retreated before such over-whelming forces, he and his three companions went back, favored by the heavy fog, to spike the guns, but the fog just then lifting they were all shot down.

It is believed that many interesting historical items might be collected, and it is to be hoped that all will help to gather these into suitable form while those are yet living who know the full circumstances, and thus prove conclusively that Canada has indeed a history of which she may be proud.

I am yours sincerely,

JANET CARNOCHAN

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