Isaac Brock was a Major-General of the British Army during the War of 1812. It was Brock who prepared the young nation of Canada for war against the United States. He died leading his troops in battle at Queenston Heights, just north of Niagara Falls, on 13 October 1812. For his good work and early victories during the conflict, Brock was deemed "The Hero of Upper Canada" and his memory inspired Canadians and British throughout the war. A grand monument was built in Brock's honour at Queenston after the War of 1812. In 1840, an unidentified person set a bomb off at the base of the monument causing irreparable damage. Reconstruction began in 1853 and was completed by 1859.
The Prince's visit to Queenston was to be a special event. A call went out to veterans of the War of 1812 to be in attendance. They would be very elderly men by 1860. The turnout of vets was low - only 150 came from a possible 1193. It likely did not matter much as the Prince seemed to be in a rush that day. The Prince arrived 30 minutes early while willing onlookers were still en route - many from as far as Toronto. The local newspaper, The St. Catharines Constitutional, noted, "...thousands of people who were coming in buggies, farmers' wagons, and conveyances of all kinds - forming processions miles in length - came to the spot too late."
Albert Edward was welcomed by a salute from the attending veterans and then he made his way to the top of the monument to take in the view. Afterward, he lead the crowd down the slope of the escarpment to the town of Queenston where he dedicated a second monument that marked the spot where Isaac Brock was mortally wounded in battle.
While the Prince seemed happy with the day, others were not so thrilled. The media coverage for the day was less than favourable. The event was noted to be "a higgledy-piggledy affair" and "a rather meagre ceremony." The crowds at the second monument was so conjested that the aged veterans were unable to get close and be further recognized. Many of the onlookers expected much more from the day but, "returned to their homes dissatisfied, and digusted."
The Prince left Queenston before lunch on his way to Hamilton with quick stops in the Town of Niagara, Port Dalhousie and St. Catharines along the way.