John Sly
2nd Regiment Leeds Militia

John Sly (1763-1868) John Sly was b 23 June 1763 in Dutchess County, New York but grew up in Vermont where his family eventually settled. According to his grand-daughter, Mariah Millenbah, John Sly lived at the foot of the Green Mountains in Vermont and was away from home five years fighting during the Revolutionary War; as a teenager it is unclear what role he fulfilled during this conflict.

About 1790 John Sly met Hannah Pope, a young widow with a son. John and Hannah raised a family of nine children and were together until her death in 1836.

In 1799 John Sly joined the many other Vermonters who were moving to Leeds County in Upper Canada in search of land and new opportunities. He found work as a woodcutter and collier for Wallis Sunderlin who established the iron furnace in Lansdowne Township. His family joined him in 1802.

John Sly was a private in the Flank Company, 2nd Regiment Leeds Militia commanded by Lieutenant John Struthers which were called out on July 1, 1812 and stationed at Gananoque. On the morning of September 21, 1812 a party of American troops led by Capt. Benjamin Forsythe attacked the settlement and forced the militia to withdraw to the east bank of the river. John Sly, his son-in-law, Archelaus Farnam and two other men, Gilbert Titus and David Adams were wounded in the skirmish.

After recovering from his wounds John Sly continued as a member of the Leeds militia; he and three other men in his household were listed in the 1820 Leeds militia returns.

In 1821 John Sly and his step-son, Jonathan Pope purchased a 200 acre lot in Leeds Township where the descendants of the family still live.

In 1849 John Sly was issued scrip by the Upper Canada Land Board in recognition of his service in the Leeds Militia during the War of 1812.

John Sly died at the home of his son Runa on January 30, 1868 and is buried at the Lillies Baptist Cemetery near Seeleys Bay.

Veteran Summary

John Sly
Private, 2nd Regiment Leeds Militia
Place of Birth
Dutchess County, NY, USA
Place of Death
near Seeleys Bay, ON, CAN
Died on: 30 JAN 1868
Reason: Old Age 104yrs 7mths 7dys
Location of Grave
Lillies Baptist Cemetery, 364 Hwy 15
Seeleys Bay, ON, CAN
Latitude: 44.49166N Longitude: -76.18333