Barbara, thanks for your post, here is an exerpt from the Canadian Illustrated News (1878 and 1879):
THE REBELLION OF 1837-8, Stirring events occurred at Prescott during the unhappy uprising variously termed "The Rebellion" and the " Patriot War." At that time there were, undoubtedly, grievances to be redressed, but there was no excuse for the course which the disaffected took. The leaders of the movement counted upon strong support from the Americans and persuaded themselves that the bulk of the Canadian people would espouse their cause. In both respects they were disappointed, In the States it is said 60,000 men joined what were known as " Hunter's Lodges," the oath of membership pledging them to devote life and property for the extirpation of Royal Dominion in North America and to relieve Nations. from the absurdities of Monarchy," These persons swore“never to rest till the British tyrants cease to have any possession or footing in North America,"In Canada there were scattered about a good many who were bitterly opposed to the existing system of government, but, when the supreme moment arrived for actions to take the place of words, very few of the American " Hunters" filed an appearance and the Canadians who were foolish enough to take up arms; could be counted by scores instead of thousands as the instigators of the rebellion expected. Probably there were a few really sincere men engaged in the affair, but the majority were either fools or knaves.
I hope this gives a little background,as usual with most wars, everything was political.
My ancestor (James CUMMINS) apparently was one of the few Canadians who joined in.He was taken prisioner, imprisioned in Toronto and later released with a large group of others. The reason stated for his release was "by reason of insanity."Havent found any trace of him after this point, but know his family ended up in Hannibal, Oswego County New York.