Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Last "Official" duel in Canada

The last duel held in Ontario was in 1833. It was also the last fatal duel. The pistols used can be viewed at the local museum in Perth, Lanark County Ontario.

The participants were Robert Lyon and John Wilson accompanied by their respective seconds, Henri Lelievre (probably Lel-ee-vray) and Simon Robertson respectively. The focus of the confrontation was a school teacher Elizabeth Hughes.

Robert Lyon was born in Inverurie, Scotland on December 30, 1812. Along with his family he moved to Canada in 1829.

John Wilson was born February 5, 1807 in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland and came to “the colonies” with his family in Perth, Upper Canada about 1823. In 1833 he was studying law under James Boulton.

In early June of 1833 Lyon, also a law student, made disparaging remarks about Elizabeth Hughes. John Wilson heard these remarks and, since he had begun a relationship with the young school teacher, demanded that Lyon retract the remarks which at the instant he did.

Most of us are aware how the passage of a few minutes which then become hours can change the view one might have of events. Apparently this happened with Robert Lyon for, at the urging of a “friend” Henri Lelievre, he challenged Wilson. Due to an ordinance which had recently been passed in one county they arranged for the duel to take place across the Tay River in another jurisdiction.

It was June 13, 1833. The two combatants paced off the distance, turned and fired. Both missed.

Everyone is satisfied, right?

No, not for Lelievre. He insisted that satisfaction had not been achieved and demanded a reload; the pistols where recharged and re-primed.

When they where fired this time Lyon fell. He was rowed back across the river to Perth where he died a short time later.

Wilson and his second, Simon Robertson were arrested by the Sheriff and tried in Brockville for murder where they were acquitted.

Robert Lyon, Dec. 30, 1812June 13, 1833.

John Wilson, Feb. 5, 1807June 3, 1869.

The last official duel, yes. Not the last gun battle. There seems to be one every few monts, usually in an urban area between gang members or with one of the police forces involved.
Most of the gun battles recorded in the late 1800s were between groups with several shooters on each side. Some of the confrontations where exagerated with the telling and some became, "oh, nothing worth talking about."


Sunday, October 27, 2013

New sites for Partners and Homesteader

The work I perform to pay the monthly bills has exploded. I’m sure it will help to pay those bills at the end of the month but it does tend to interfere with working on the new novel, writing posts for the blog and doing things around here such as putting the summer tools away and bringing out the winter things.
It is also interfering with the work I need to do on earlier novels and their promotion. Strategic Book Publishing will be and has me supplying information for the changing of the web sites for “Partners” and “Homesteader”. They will become a single site with access to both novels on the one page. As we add more novels they will appear on the same site.
In regard to that I have four ready to go.
There is my first, the prequel to “Homesteader” which is titled, “The Great Liquor War” but is no longer available; four of the same characters as those found in “Homesteader”.
“Jake’s Justice” which I particularly like since it includes a story, or more precisely my changed and expanded version of a story I originally heard from an early pioneer to the Peace River Country. Of course that also means I include some Peace Country history and I do love the land and its history.
“Cattle Business” which includes more information on how ranching began its growth in the North West Territories, a subject that is also touched on in “Jake’s Justice” and “Homesteader”.
Cattle also appear in some of the stories in my collection of short stories. There are seventeen in the collection and they cover a time frame from the 1880s to the 1960s. I’ve titled the collection “The Yearlings” (cattle, of course) which is also the title of one of the stories and it has a connection to one of the others.
No idea when we will get to all of this because right now we are working on the new web page, new press release and a video trailer.
Once we have some of that finished and ready to be viewed I’ll post that info along with the new site addresses.
By the way, here are pictures of two men who changed my life with their work and a third who is doing well and making us all smile. Have any idea who they are?


Thursday, October 10, 2013


I was actually looking for a quotation from the Bible which I wanted to use in one of my stories. However, during the process I found a great many sites with quotations, some of which I have heard and some that I haven't. Of course there are thousands out there, but before I moved on to the task that had actually started me on this journey I found several that where interesting, enlightening, and humorous.

Oh, and yes, I did find the Bible quote, the chapter and verse. However, now I've decided not to use it in this particular yarn. Maybe in the next one.


Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. (John F. Kennedy)

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. (Lao Tzu)

If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.
(Eleanor Roosevelt)

A person will sometimes devote all his life to the development of one part of his body - the wishbone. (Robert Frost)

Don't let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.
(Richard L. Evans)
The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases. (Carl Jung)
 I think I've discovered the secret of life - you just hang around until you get used to it.
(Charles M. Schulz)

 Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh. (George Bernard Shaw)

 When I hear somebody sigh, 'Life is hard,' I am always tempted to ask, 'Compared to what?' (Sydney J. Harris)

 Most people have never learned that one of the main aims in life is to enjoy it.
(Samuel Butler)

 A chain is no stronger than its weakest link, and life is after all a chain.
(William James)