Haldimand, Sir Frederick

Haldimand, Sir Frederick

Haldimand, Sir Frederick, 1718-91, British general and colonial governor of Quebec, b. Neuchâtel canton, Switzerland. A soldier of fortune in several European armies before joining (1756) the British forces, he commanded a battalion in America in the last of the French and Indian Wars. Later he was military governor (1762-66) of Trois Rivières dist. in Quebec; commander in chief (1767-73) in Florida, which then extended to the Mississippi River; and commander in chief of North America (1773-74) during Thomas Gage's absence in England. His patience with the colonists during the time of the Boston Tea Party helped to prevent hostilities. Recalled to England at the opening of the American Revolution because it was considered best to have a person of English birth in chief command, he was sent (1778) to Quebec to replace Guy Carleton as governor. There, aided by his native knowledge of French, he succeeded in keeping the loyalty of the French Canadians when France was aiding the Americans. He efficiently organized the defenses of the province, inaugurated a system of canals, and provided admirably for the Loyalist refugees from the revolting colonies. In 1784 he returned to England where he was knighted a year later. His papers, in the British Museum, have been a leading historical source for the events of the period.

See biography by J. N. McIlwraith (rev. ed. 1926).

Lieutenant Peter Frederick Haldimand (b. 1741 or 1742 in Switzerland - d. December 16, 1765 off Cape Breton) was a military officer and surveyor in the British Army.

Haldimand started his military career while less than 15 years old, sponsored by his uncle, Sir Frederick Haldimand. General James Abercromby commissioned him as an ensign in the Royal American Regiment. In this capacity, he took part in the Battle of Montreal in 1760. After being promoted to lieutenant, Haldimand was assigned to do surveying and historical work, drawing up maps of Canada and writing histories of Montreal and Trois-Rivières, as well as getting details on their governance. At the end of the war, Haldimand was charged with assisting Captain Samuel Holland in his survey of the northern district of British North America. Holland praised Haldimand's work, describing him as both an excellent mathematician and astronomer. In 1765, Haldimand was killed when he fell through breaking ice and drowned.

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