After the abortive 1837 Upper Canadian Rebellion, its leader, William Lyon MACKENZIE
, retreated with some 200 followers to Navy Island in the Niagara River. There the Caroline
, an American-owned ship based in Fort Schlosser, New York, was employed carrying supplies to the rebels. On 29 December 1837 a force of UC militia, led by Commander Andrew Drew, Royal Navy, found her moored at Schlosser. A brief encounter ensued, in which one American was killed. The Caroline
, set ablaze and then adrift, foundered above the falls and sank. The incident exacerbated the already strained relations between Britain and America.
Caroline Descending Niagara Falls
After being set on fire by the British 29 December 1837 (courtesy Metropolitan Toronto Library).