en the patriot war in Canada broke out in 1837.
Being a bold and adventurous man, and cordially hating the British, Johnston was easily persuaded by the American sympathizers in the movement to join in the strife.
The leaders regarded him as a valuable assistant, for he was thoroughly acquainted with the whole region of the Thousand Islands, in the St. Lawrence, from Kingston to Ogdensburg.
He was employed to capture the steamboat Robert Peel, that carried passengers and the mail between Prescott and Toronto, and also to seize the Great Britain, another steamer, for the use of the patriots.
With a desperate band, Johnston rushed on board of the Peel at Wells's
William Johnston. Island, not far below Clayton, on the night of May 29, 1838.
They were armed with muskets and bayonets and painted like Indians, and appeared with a shout, Remember the Carolina! —a vessel which some persons from Canada had cut loose at Schlosser (on Niagara River), set on fire, and sent blazing over Nia