To the Outskirts of HaBitable Creation:

Americans and Canadians Transported to Tasmania in the 1840s

By Stuart D. Scott     Illustrated by Seth Coby


To The Outskirts of Habitable Creation is the true story of the 1837 Canadian Rebellion, which almost brought the U.S. and Britain to war in the Great Lake’s border region of the U.S. and Canada.

The book, which reads like a novel but is well footnoted, captures the human dimensions of this political conflict in which Canadian and U.S. citizens gave up life, liberty, and family to induce a change in Canadian governmental policy.

Before 1837 there had been reform movements in Canada to correct common grievances against British Colonial administration. In Upper Canada the movement evolved into an armed uprising in Toronto inspired by the radical journalist William Lyon Mackenzie, who made a daring escape across the Niagara River to Buffalo. Once there his fiery rhetoric inspired men from Michigan to Vermont to join forces in cross-border raids.

Early battles at Navy Island and along the Niagara River near Buffalo led to the Caroline, a steamer supplying the rebels, being attacked, set afire, and allowed to drift in flames above Niagara Falls. General Winfield Scott was ordered with troops to the Niagara Frontier. As a young Buffalonian reported in her diary, “The people are all in a commotion here, and everything has the appearance of war.”

From: The Journal of Mary Peacock. 1838.

Cover illustration courtesy Allport Library & Museum of Fine Arts, State Library of Tasmania