I have thought about starting this blog for a couple of years now.
You could say I have been interested in the War of 1812 for several decades, but now that this year is the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 I suppose I had better get started. In fact I could have started last fall documenting events leading up to the war, but we still have some time. It didn’t start until the summer, but key events took place in Upper Canada prior to that.
I am not much of a writer, nor much of a blogger. I am not a trained historian, in fact I haven’t formally studied Canadian history since grade 9. So if you find this a tedious read, I apologize.
The are many excellent resources online that cover this topic. I haven’t yet read very many of the recent books that have been published on the subject, and I certainly will not be participating in any re-enactments. But I am delving into some primary sources and visiting places on the way. Should be interesting.
So what is this blog about?
It’s about Upper Canada – the western part. That is where I grew up and it is where I live. The majority of the battles, people and events in this war took place between Toronto and Windsor, mostly in the Niagara peninsula. More than half the casualties of the war occurred within 20 miles of the Niagara River.
It’s about the war of 1812 – Most famous are the Battle of Queenston Heights and the Battle of Lundy’s Lane. But there are dozens of lesser-known battles, skirmishes and action that took place here as well. The Battle of Burlington Beach was neither big nor decisive and few have heard of it, but I will take a look at it.
It’s about people – more than just Tecumseh, Isaac Brock and Laura Secord. There little known individuals whose actions changed or nearly changed the course of history, like the amazing John Norton, and the nasty Andrew Westbrook.
It’s about places – like the well known Laura Secord Homestead. But there are scores of other locations that figure prominently, many of which are well know to the local people. The windy road up Hungerford Hill in London was the site or 1 or 2 skirmishes that are well known locally, but not much has been written. The hill is now called Reservoir Hill and the road is still called The Commissioner’s Road 200 years later. And it is still windy.
It’s about events – other than battles, there were meetings, musters, building and burnings. Washington DC was burned by the British in retaliation for the burning of York (Toronto). However, York was burned in retaliation for the burning of another American town. And so on. Maybe we will find out who started it the burning.
And it’s about what I have learned along the way.