Monday, April 21, 2014

Dream 10 "The Battle of Montgomery's Tavern" (William Lyon Mackenzie, 1837)

The night before the Battle of Montgomery’s Tavern, William Lyon Mackenzie dreamed that someone was shaking him awake. Something strange had happened. He could feel it even in those first few drowsy moments of consciousness before he opened his eyes. And when he did, it was true: his sheets, the floors, the table, the bed, everything was made of newspaper. Even the walls; they were so thin that he could see straight through them to the papery trees beyond. Even his own hands and legs and arms. Even Van Egmond, commander of their troops, who had him by the shoulders, shaking him roughly from his sleep.

"Get up," the Dutchman barked. “We need to leave. They’re here."

And that’s when Mackenzie saw them through those thin, newspaper walls: thousands of them in red coats, steadily approaching, rifles drawn. A few had torches; soon the whole world would be in flames.


Before his famously failed revolution, Mackenzie went to England hoping the British government would respond to his grievances. It didn't work. I'll be telling that story — and leaving copies of this dream at the places he visited — as part of the Toronto Dream Project's UK Tour. You can help make it happen by supporting my Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign, which you can check out here. Today, is the VERY LAST DAY you can contribute.

Explore more dreams about the history of Toronto here.

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