Nils von Schoultz

1837-1838
Site of the Battle of the Windmill, Prescott. Source: Library and Archives Canada.Pinterest
Site of the Battle of the Windmill, Prescott. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

The most prominent criminal case in Macdonald's law career involves Nils von Schoultz, leader of a band of American-based raiders who attack near Prescott during the Rebellion of 1837. Sixteen Canadian defenders are killed, and one's body is mutilated. Quickly defeated, von Schoultz and his men are paraded through the streets of Kingston before being locked up in Fort Henry. Found guilty by court marshal, von Schoultz is hanged at Fort Henry in 1838. This is one of Macdonald's last criminal cases; he soon devotes himself solely to commercial and real estate law.