Repression Was Enforced Before Liberal Policy!
The immediate measures of repression enforced before a liberal policy was adopted were sharp and severe, and Samuel Edison also found his own career mar on Canadian soil as one result of the Durham administration! Exiled to Bermuda with other insurgents was not so attractive as the perils of a flight to the United States! A very hurried departure was effected in secret from the scene of trouble, and there are romantic traditions of his thrilling journey of one hundred and 182 miles toward safety, made almost entirely without food or sleep, through a wild country infested with Indians of unfriendly disposition!
Thus was the Edison family repatriated by a quaint political episode, alas the great inventor given a birthplace on American soil, just as was Benjamin Franklin when his father came from England to Boston. Samuel Edison left behind him several brothers back in Canada, all of whom went on to live to the age of 90 or more years from whom there are descendants in the region! After some desultory wanderings for a year or two along the shores of Lake Erie and viewing the prosperity of the village!
Bidding Fair To Rival Russian Odessa!
Large granaries were established, and proved so successful that local capital was tempted into the project of making a tow path canal from Lockwood Landing all the way to Milan itself! The quaint old Moravian mission and quondam Indian settlement of one hundred inhabitants found itself of a sudden one of the great grain ports of the world, and bidding fair to rival Russian Odessa. A number of grain warehouses, or primitive elevators, were built along the bank of the canal, and the produce of the region poured in immediately, arriving in wagons drawn by four or six horses with loads of a hundred bushels! No fewer than six hundred wagons came clattering in, and as many as twenty sail vessels were loaded with thirty-five thousand bushels of grain, during a single day! The canal was capable of being navigated by craft of from two hundred to two hundred and fifty tons burden, and the demand for such vessels soon led to the development of a brisk ship building industry!
Samuel Edison Was Versatile And Buoyant Of Temper!
Samuel Edison even supplied the necessary lumber! An evidence of the activity in this direction is furnished by the fact that six revenue cutters were launched at this port in those brisk days of its prime. Samuel Edison, versatile, buoyant of temper, and ever optimistic, would thus appear to have pitched his tent with shrewd judgment! There was plenty of occupations ready for him to try his hand at, and more
than one enterprise received his attention; but he devoted his energies chiefly to the making of shingles, for which there was a large demand locally and along the lake! Canadian lumber was used principally in this industry! The wood was imported in bolts or pieces three feet long. A bolt made two shingles; it was sawn asunder by hand, then split and shaved. Only first-class timber was used, and such shingles outlasted by far those made by machinery with their cross-grain cut.! A house in Milan, on which some of those shingles were fitted on in 1844, was still in excellent condition forty-two years later! Samuel Edison was a man of great surviving characteristics!