“The Skin of King George”

The Democratic Press
Philadelphia, PA.
31 October 1814

“From the Kentucky Advertiser – Captain Shaw’s & Captain McKinsay’s Toasts.

The Kentuckians who were made Prisoners at the River Raisin, after being marched to the lower end of Upper Canada, were at a certain place treated by Capt. Shaw the British Officer who had them in charge, and who at the commencement of the treat, gave the following Toast: Success to King George and to all his allies,—May we always have such success as this—(meaning the victory gained at the River Raisin, and pointing round to all the Prisoners present).

In reply to the above John McKinsay of Bourbon County, who was among the Captives, gave the following:–

“Here’s wishing Captain Shaw well for his good treatment to us prisoners,—and success to all good republicans, and especially to all true hearted Kentuckians, wishing that we may shortly obtain the SKIN of King George for Drum heads, and the Shin Bones of all Damned Tories for Drum Sticks, to beat the Kentuckians to Arms, to revenge their Country’s wrongs for all this” (pointing round to all his fellow Prisoners as Captain Shaw had done).

Irving, Officers of the British Forces in Canada during the War of 1812-15, pp. 35 and 93. Captain William Shaw, Sr. Commander, Captain Shaw’s Company, 1st Regiment, Kent Militia, Western District, Upper Canada. Shaw was serving in the Provost Marshall Office during this time. Formerly a Sergeant of Grenadiers in 5th Foot, in which he served 20 years, taking part in first American War. Discharged in 1794. Made an officer in Militia same year. Three sons were actively employed during the war of 1812-15, one being killed. (Ontario Crown Lands Records). Present at Miami, 1st-9th May, 1813.

Cliff, Remember the Raisin, p. 211: McKinsey, John. Private, POW Jan. 22. McKinsey was a member of Captain William Ellis’s (Richard Matson’s) Company, 1st Rifle Regiment, comprised of men from Bourbon and Harrison Counties.