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Carleton, Sir Guy, Lord Dorchester 1724-

civil and military officer; born in Stra-

Guy Carleton.

bane, Ireland, Sept. 3, 1724; entered the Guards at an early age, and became a lieutenant-colonel in 1748. He was aide to the Duke of Cumberland in the German campaign of 1757; was with Amherst in the siege of Louisburg in 1758; with Wolfe at Quebec (1759) as quartermaster-general; and was a brigadier-general at the siege of Belle Isle, where he was wounded. He was also quartermaster-general in the expedition against Havana in 1762, and in 1767 he was made lieutenant-governor of Quebec. The next year he was appointed governor. In 1772 he was promoted to major-general, and in 1774 was made governor-general of the Province of Quebec. In an expedition against the forts on Lake Champlain in 1775 he narrowly escaped capture; and at the close of the year he successfully resisted a siege of Quebec by Montgomery. The next spring and summer he drove the Americans out of Canada, and totally defeated the American flotilla in an engagement on Lake Champlain in October.

Sir John Burgoyne had been in England during the earlier part of 1777, and managed, by the help of Sir Jeffrey Amherst, to obtain a commission to take command of all the British forces in Canada. To do this he played the sycophant to Germain, and censured Carleton. When Sir John arrived at Quebec (May 6, 1777), Carleton was amazed at despatches brought by him rebuking the governor for his conduct of the last campaign, and ordering him, “for the speedy quelling of the rebellion,” to make over to Burgoyne, his inferior officer, the command of the Canadian army as soon as it should leave the boundary of the Province of Quebec. The unjust reproaches and the deprivation of his military command greatly irritated Carleton, but, falling back on his civil dignity as governor, he implicitly obeyed all commands and answered the requisitions of Burgoyne. As a soothing opiate to his wounded pride, Burgoyne conveyed to the governor the patent and the jewel of a baronet.

Governor Carleton was a strict disciplinarian, and always obeyed instructions to the letter. When Burgoyne, after the capture of Ticonderoga (July, 1777), pushing on towards the valley of the Hudson, desired Carleton to hold that post with the 3,000 troops which had been left in Canada, the governor refused, pleading his instructions, which confined him to his [58] own province. This unexpected refusal was the first of the embarrassments Burgoyne endured after leaving Lake Champlain. He was compelled, he said, to “drain the life-blood of his army” to garrison Ticonderoga and hold Lake George. No doubt this weakening of his army at that time was one of the principal causes of his defeat near Saratoga. If Carleton wished to gratify a spirit of retaliation because of Burgoyne's intrigues against him, the surrender of the latter must have fully satisfied him. Carleton was made lieutenant-general in 1778; was appointed commander-in-chief of the British forces in America in 1781; and sailed for England Nov. 25, 1783. In 1786 he was created Baron Dorchester, and from that year until 1796 he was governor of British North America. He died Nov. 10, 1808.

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