Caroline Affair

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CAROLINE AFFAIR. In November 1837, William Lyon Mackenzie launched a rebellion in Upper Canada. Defeated by government forces, his followers fled to Navy Island in the Niagara River. Sympathizers supplied them from the American side of the river, using the American-owned steamer Caroline. On the night of 29 December, Canadian troops crossed the river and seized the Caroline, killing an American in the ensuing struggle before towing the steamer into midstream, setting it afire, and turning it adrift. President Martin Van Buren lodged a protest at London, which was ignored. For a time feeling ran high, but the case dragged on for years before the Webster-Ashburton Treaty settled the affair in 1842.


DeConde, Alexander. A History of American Foreign Policy. New York: Scribner, 1978.

Milledge L.BonhamJr./c. w.

See alsoCanada, Relations with ; Great Britain, Relations with .

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Caroline Affair

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Caroline Affair