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This area of Ontario was first settled by English speakers in 1785, when thousands of American refugees arrived from the American colonies after the American Revolutionary War.

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Great Britain opened the western region of Canada (first known as Upper Canada and now Ontario), purchasing land from First Nations to allocate to the mostly English-speaking Loyalists in compensation for their losses, and helping them with some supplies as they founded new settlements. Lawrence River' was named by French explorers in the 18th century to honour the martyred Roman Christian, Saint Laurentis. (1751–1832), an ensign disbanded from the King's Rangers, from the state of New York.

The first years were very harsh as they struggled on the frontier. Residents commonly called the first settlement 'Buell's Bay'.

Known as the "City of the 1000 Islands", Brockville is on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River opposite Morristown, New York, about halfway between Ontario's Cornwall to the east and Kingston to the west.

It is 115 kilometres (71 miles) south of the national capital of Ottawa.

A raid on Elizabethtown occurred on the early morning of February 7, 1813, when Benjamin Forsyth and 200 of his American forces crossed the frozen St.

Lawrence River occupied the settlement, seized military and public stores, freed American prisoners, and captured local militia soldiers and leading citizens.

After the surrender of Fort Detroit, General Brock was next involved in other battles on the Niagara Peninsula.

On October 13, 1812, he was fatally wounded while leading troops up the heights near the village of Queenston, then temporarily held by American militia.

Around 1810, government officials of Upper Canada assigned the name 'Elizabethtown' for the developing village.

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