Friday, August 9, 2013

Charles-Michel d’Irumberry de Salaberry and John By

These two stamps and the cover are in honour of Charles-Michel d’Irumberry de Salaberry and John By, who were military leaders who helped to prevent the advancing American army at the battle of Châteauguay, and built the fortifications of Quebec City, the canal at Les Cèdres and the Rideau. The map on the cover gives a fairly detailed idea of the area of operations of these two men.
Lieutenant Colonel Charles-Michel d'Irumberry de Salaberry, CB (November 19, 1778 - February 27, 1829) was a French-Canadian of the seigneurial class who served as an officer of the British army in Lower Canada (now Quebec). He won distinction for repelling the American advance on Montreal during the War of 1812. After the war of 1812, Charles de Salaberry became a folk hero in French Canada. He served as justice of the peace for various district courts, and in 1818 became a legislative councillor for Lower Canada. After his father's death, he became Seigneur of St. Mathias. In 1817, he was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath. Charles de Salaberry died in Chambly, Quebec on February 27, 1829.

Lieutenant-Colonel John By (7 August 1779 – 1 February 1836) was a British military engineer, best remembered for supervising the construction of the Rideau Canal and, in the process, founding what would become the city of Ottawa.  Born in Lambet, in London, England in 1779 to George By and Mary Bryan. By studied at the Royal Military Academy. He entered Officer Training in the army when he was 18 years old. He was commissioned in the Royal Artillery on 1 August 1799 but transferred to the Royal Engineers on 20 December the same year. With the end of the war By retired from the military but in 1826, in view of his engineering experience in Canada, he was recalled and returned to Canada to supervise the construction of the Rideau Canal. Since the canal was to begin in the wild and sparsely populated Ottawa River valley, his first task was the construction of a town to house the men who were to work on the canal, and associated services. The resulting settlement, called Bytown in his honour, would later become famous under the new name of Ottawa.
The canal was completed in six years, and was acclaimed as an engineering triumph. Colonel By was recalled to London, however, to face accusations that he had made a number of unauthorised expenditures. The charges were spurious and a parliamentary committee exonerated him, but the damage was done and he was never given a formal commendation for his work on the canal. He died in 1836 and is buried in the village of Frant in East Sussex in the South East of England.
Thank you Maria for this FDC.

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