February 26th - Living History Conference,
Hamilton, Ontario. Robert
Henderson speaking on Recruiting
4th - Battlefield House Museum, Stoney Creek, Ontario. Robert
Henderson will be speaking on Army Crime and Punishment in the War
January 23, 2010 - Queen Charlotte's Birthday Ball, Fort York,
A War of 1812 staff will be
key note speaker:
the Royal Court to Canada: The Impact of Germans on Regency Society"
by Robert Henderson
“Royal scandals, conspiracy theories, military heroism, and the
power of a beautiful face, are all explored in this study of the
impact of Germans on British and Canadian society around the time of
the War of 1812.”
February 27th, 2010 - Living History Conference, London, Ontario.
“A Dysfunctional Army Life in 1812"by Robert Henderson
talk will cover the topics of troublesome Army wives, prostitution,
recruiting trickery, con-artists working the army system, and scams
to get out of the army, along with how military officials attempted
to handle these situations. The goal of this presentation will be to
underline the very human and flawed nature of both the system and
those participating in it.”
30th- May 1st, 2010 - Second Annual War of 1812 Seminar, Ogdensburg,
and Patriots" Recruiting the British Soldier in the War of 1812by Robert Henderson
October 11th - Bicentennial Lecture Series, Prescott, Ontario.
will be contributing:
Love, Lust and
the British Soldier in the War of 1812by Robert
November 10th - North Grenville Historical Society, Kemptville,
will be contributing:
Bumpkins, and Patriots" Recruiting the British Soldier in the
War of 1812by Robert Henderson
by Robert Henderson
Putting Names to the War of
1812 Unknown Soldiers
E. Baker. Howard Baker. Philip V. Blacklock. Cecil Bovaird. These are
the first names on the stone Cenotaph in my hometown commemorating the
community's fallen soldiers of the World Wars. Over the past
century Canada has remembered the names of almost every single soldier
who died in the wars overseas. More than that. Grave stones
were erected to remember the names of each body that was buried.
When this could not be done, the body then carried the honourable title
of the Unknown Soldier.
I get choked up every
November 11th (Remembrance Day here in Canada) when a special act
happens at the National War Memorial after the official ceremonies: the
laying of poppies on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This began
quite spontaneously a few years ago when the tomb was added to the
Memorial and has continued since.
However to me the tomb
isn't just the last resting place of an unknown Canadian who died in the
trenches of France, it stands for all the died of the War of 1812 as
Canadians were often piled together in a hole in the nearby field and
then covered over. Therefore the majority of those who
fought and died defending this nation on its soil in the War of 1812 are
But "unknown" takes on
a whole new dimension with regards to the War of 1812 died.
Not only can we not place names to the bodies, Canadians don't even know
their names at all! Thousands were killed, wounded or died
of disease during the war, and never has Canada bothered to ask what
their names were. This shameful disregard must be put right.
Happily a group
of volunteers are trying to do something about it by starting:
The War of 1812 Casualty
Database. Out of their own pockets, they are purchasing copies
of archival documents and entering the names one at a time.
You would think this would be a great project for a government grant but
they have had no luck getting funding. Still they continue on.
We owe them our gratitude and
donations to keep them going. To show 'I eat my own cooking', I will be
covering the costs of researching a couple of regiments and begin
recording their names for inclusion in the database. What can you
do? Well you can press the donate button on their site and
send them a couple of bucks; and/or send letters of encouragement
so they can use your letter to show grant officials that Canadians are
behind this initiative.
After this project is complete maybe a
wall can be reserved at a place like the Canadian War Museum where these
names could all be listed and finally remembered.
1812 Bicentennial and Museum News
Recent News -
Conferences - Museum Corner - Travel - Editorial
The Chelsea Pensioners Receive News of the Victory
at Waterloo (photo of original in Wellington Museum)
2011 Ottawa, Ontario - The
hard work of Warof1812.ca visitors who sent letters to the CBC has paid
off. The CBC will be doing a War of 1812 Documentary. In
addition the Dept. of Canadian Heritage has alotted $1.6 million for "TV
vignettes". There also seems to be some movement concerning
the recognition of 1812 in the Canadian Forces. An announcement
from the Canadian Government on their program is expected in the coming
2011 Vergennes, Vermont - Archaeologists
are off to find the shipbuilding yards of the U.S. Navy on Lake
Champlain. The British more than once planned to destroy them but U.S.
Navy Commodore Thomas McDonough
picked a very defendable spot. Let's hope
his spot isn't too defended by the sands of time that the team can't
find it. Read More here.
2011 St. John's, Newfoundland -
Newfoundland will be remembering the
province's contributions during the War of 1812 with a number of events.
The role of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment will take centre stage along
with the Naval service. Read More here.
2nd, 2010 South Western Ontario -
The small group of living historians are
started a project that looks like it will last long after the
bicentennial celebrations are done. They have begun the monumental
task of compiling all the names of British and Canadian Soldiers who
were casualties during the war. You can see their work at: The
War of 1812 Casualty Database
26th, 2010 Fort Erie, ON- Much of the
filming of the Niagara Parks Commission video of the siege of Fort Erie
has been wrapped up. It looks like this video will be the
marker for both authenticity and entertainment value that all other 1812
AV work will be judged by. Our heads go off to the staff at
Niagara Parks Commission for this.
15th, 2010 Prescott, ON - The new
Visitor Centre at Fort Wellington NHS (Parks Canada) appears to have
been scaled back into an extension of the existing facility to house a
wreck of a batteau that may have been from the War of 1812.
October 3rd, 2010
Sault St. Marie, ON - A year
after the announcement of a Heritage Discovery Centre at Ermatinger-Clergue
National Historic Site, the project is in trouble. The
Federal government cannot guarantee an extension on its portion of the
funding and therefore the Municipality is on the verge of pulling the
29th, 2010 Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON
Fort George National Historic Site, the place Sir Isaac Brock was first
buried after the Battle of Queenston Heights, is receiving a $2.75
million face lift to its 80-year-old reconstructed buildings.
Hopefully the Canadian government will also realize that a
state-of-the-art Visitor Centre at one of the most visited historic
sites in Canada would also make sense, especially for the bicentennial.
23rd, 2010 Monroe, MI River
Raisin celebrates its new designation as a National Battlefield Site.
While an American defeat, it became a rallying cry for the successful
campaign the following year. "Remember the River Raisin" has
finally been heard in Washington.
8th, 2009 Montreal, QC A
recent poll by the Association for Canadian Studies found that 37% of
Canadians lack the knowledge on the war to answer the question "Who won
the War of 1812?". Broken down by province Ontario
respondents were most likely to answer the question, while Quebec
residents were the least likely. In fact, the majority of
Quebecois who expressed an opinion thought the United States won the
war; while over 50% of Ontarians said Canada won. Charles De
Salaberry and the French Canadian heroes of the Battle of the
Chateauguay must be turning in their graves! Hopefully Quebec's
motto "je me souviens " (I remember) will inspire the provincial
government will correct this glaring memory gap.
4th, 2009 Toronto, ON Fort York's
plan for a new visitor centre received a shot in the arm with the
Federal Government promising $4 million to the enterprise.
November 15th, 2009 Boston, MA
The USS Constitution (Old Ironsides)
is getting a major renovation that will restore the vessel back to its
1812 configuration. This ambitious project will be complete for
the War of 1812 bicentennial celebrations.
5th, 2009 Hamilton, ON On their
visit to Hamilton's Dundurn Castle, Prince Charles and Camilla, the
Duchess of Cornwall, discovered a little more about Camilla's Canadian
great-great-great grandfather Sir Allan Napier MacNab. Not only
was MacNab a former prime minister of the united province of Canada but
at the age of 14, had served in the Canadian militia during the War of
1812. See his
26th, 2009 Frankfort, KY A walking trail has been named after a War of 1812 Canadian POW. Master
James Miller was a member of the Provincial Marine when he was captured
and imprisoned in the POW camp in Frankfort. Being the only
recorded captive to die at the camp, Miller is now honoured with the
16th, 2009 Toronto, ON After being trapped between a highway and railway tracks for decades,
Fort York in Toronto will be getting a walkway link to the site from the
rest of the city. The estimated link will cost $17 million and is
part of a $35 million revitalization of the site, including an $18
million state-of-the-art Visitor Centre.
More on this can be found here.
Fort York National Historic Site, Toronto
15th, 2009 Toronto, ON Rick
Mercer, a popular Canadian comedian, took a fun look at War of 1812
Reenactment. Airing on the Rick Mercer Report on October 13th, his
experience as a reenactor can be seen below:
October 8th, 2009
Put-in-Bay, OH - The US Mint has
just announced that an image of the column constructed to mark Oliver
Hazard Perry's victory in the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813 will grace the
U.S. Quarter in 2013. Administered by the U.S. National Park
Service, Perry's Victory received a new $2.4 million visitor centre in
2002 that receives 200,000 visitors annually.
Perry's Victory can be
Perry's Victory (NPS)
October 7th, 2009
Washington, DC - Carl Levin,
Senator for Michigan, has introduced a resolution for a US Postal stamp
commemorating the War of 1812 . The resolution has received
bi-partisan sponsorship and if passed. direct the Postmaster General to
issue the stamp or stamps by 2012.
October 2nd, 2009
Sault St. Marie, ON - The Ontario
Government has announced that Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site,
operated by the municipality of Sault St. Marie, will receive $60K in
funding for War of 1812 bicentennial celebrations. A
brochure of Site can be found here and a
biography of Charles Oakes Ermatinger is also available online.
Ermatinger served as a militia during the surprise attack and capture of
Fort Michilimackinac on Mackinac Island (Michigan) on July 17, 1812.
Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site
September 26th, 2009 Port
Dover, ON- Robert Nichol,
colonel of Norfolk militia in Upper Canada (Ontario) was remembered by
the Ontario Heritage Trust with a plaque for his service in the war,
particularly at the capture of Detroit and his community leadership in
September 14th, 2009
Patuxent River, MD- The US
Navy is considering raising a sunken vessel that served as part of the
flotilla that protected Baltimore from an amphibious assault by the
Royal Navy in 1814. If approval is given, the project would be in
conjunction with the bicentennial.
further info read here
September 10th, 2009
Washington, DC - A bill
recommending the production of Silver coins commemorating the War of
1812 has passed the House of Representatives and awaits Senate approval.
Under the bill, the proceeds of the coin sale are planned to be used to
finance the National War of 1812 Bicentennial commission (another bill
now in Committee).
August 30th, 2009
Albany, NY- As
War of 1812 bicentennial activities start to move into full gear, NY
Governor David Patterson, put his state's involvement into 'park'.
Citing budget concerns, Gov. Patterson vetoed his state's 1812
Commemoration Commission bill. Hopefully the national 1812
commission bill in Congress will see the light of day and fill the
gapping hole left by Gov. Patterson's decision to, in effect, cancel
this state's involvement in this important observance.
Sackets Harbour Battlefield State Historic Site is one of the 1812
locations affected by this unfortunate decision
August 18th, 2009 Amherstburg, ON -
Fort Malden National Historic Site near
Windsor, Ontario received $0.5 million in federal funding to
help upgrade their War of 1812 exhibit so as to better tell the
important role the historic site and community played in the
conflict. The site is part of Parks Canada.
Read an article on
the Fort Amherstburg in the war.
August 17th, 2009 Prescott, ON -
The St. Lawrence valley will be getting
another Museum Visitor Centre, this time at Fort Wellington National
With the announcement, it is contemplated by Parks Canada that the
War of 1812 Gunboat, found archaeologically in the St. Lawrence
Islands, will be housed in this facility. This gunboat was historically stationed
Read an article
on the Fort Wellington during the war.
July 15, 2009
Crysler's Farm Memorial, ON- The
Ontario Government has announced that it will be financing the
building of a new visitor centre for the Battle of Crysler's Farm
memorial. Considering the present centre dates back to the 1960s,
this announcement was greeted by the Friends of the Battle with
great excitement. Visit the Friends of Crysler's Farm website.
2009 Reenactment at Crysler's Farm
June 18, 2009
Albany, NY- New
York State's House of Assembly passes a bill to create a War of 1812
Bi-centennial Commission. Focus will be on Niagara River area,
Sackets Harbor, Plattsburg, Ogdensburg, Staten Island, and Fort
June 17, 2009 St.
Catharine's, ON -
Brock University students in
collaboration with a local firm nGen are developing a War of 1812
educational game that uses role playing, simulations, role playing
and strategy to provide users with a opportunity to see how
decisions and events in the war shaped Canadian History.
June 2, 2009 Erie, PA
- A new management
board was put in place at the Brig Niagara in order to keep the ship
sailing this year. It's sailing schedule was put into
doubt when cutbacks were announced by state government that effected
the Historical and Museum Commission, the Brig's chief funding
source. If you wish to help, donations can be made to the Flagship
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