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Conferences

 

2011

January 22  - Queen Charlotte's Birthday Ball, Fort York, Toronto, Ontario.   Key note by Peter Twist

February 26th  - Living History Conference, Hamilton, Ontario. Robert Henderson speaking on Recruiting and Peter Twist on Civilian Clothing in the Militia

June 4th  - Battlefield House Museum, Stoney Creek, Ontario. Robert Henderson will be speaking on Army Crime and Punishment in the War of 1812.

 

 

2010

January 23, 2010  - Queen Charlotte's Birthday Ball, Fort York, Toronto, Ontario. 

A War of 1812 staff will be key note speaker:

"From the Royal Court to Canada: The Impact of Germans on Regency Society" by Robert Henderson

Synopsis:  “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. 

More information found here. War of 1812 staff will be contributing:

“You can’t handle the Truth.” Crime, Punishment and the British Soldier in the War of 1812 by Robert Henderson 

“Woollen War Paint” Uniform of the British Infantryman in the War of 1812  by Peter Twist and Robert Henderson

April 7th, 2010 - 1812 Lecture Series - Guelph, Ontario

More information found here. War of 1812 staff will be contributing:

“A Dysfunctional Army Life in 1812" by Robert Henderson

 Synopsis:  “This 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.”

April 17th, 2010 - Material Culture of the War of 1812 Conference, Fort Meigs, OH

More information found here. War of 1812 staff will be contributing:

"British Uniforms of the War of 1812: Reconstructing an Incomplete Past" by Peter Twist

April 30th- May 1st, 2010  - Second Annual War of 1812 Seminar, Ogdensburg, New York 

More information found here.  Warof1812.ca staff will be contributing:

"Hustlers, Bumpkins, and Patriots" Recruiting the British Soldier in the War of 1812  by Robert Henderson

October 11th - Bicentennial Lecture Series, Prescott, Ontario. 

Warof1812.ca staff will be contributing:

Love, Lust and the British Soldier in the War of 1812  by Robert Henderson

November 10th - North Grenville Historical Society, Kemptville, Ontario. 

Warof1812.ca staff will be contributing:

"Hustlers, Bumpkins, and Patriots" Recruiting the British Soldier in the War of 1812  by Robert Henderson

 

 
1.jpg (2327 bytes)
by Robert Henderson

Putting Names to the War of 1812 Unknown Soldiers 

  Arthur 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 well.

     British and 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 unknown soldiers.

    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. 
 

 

 

War of 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)

Opinion

Helping Ontario Decide What Events to Fund in the Bicentennial
As 2012 approaches and every community asks for funding for their event, how do you decide which ones to help? This OP-ED article offers the Ministry of Tourism in Ontario a solution.

Volunteer or Hired Gun: Should Re-enactors Accept Payment for Attending Bicentennial Events?
Money is often a thorny issue and the War of 1812 bicentennial is not exempt.  This article explores the pitfalls to turning a hobby into a job, and how funding entities should be careful.    

Recent News

September 20th, 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 weeks. 

August 23th, 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.

May 13th, 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.

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November 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

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October 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.

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October 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.

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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 plug. 

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January 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.

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January 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.

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December 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.     

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December 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.

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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.  

 

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November 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 biography here.

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October 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 Miller trail.  

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October 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

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October 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: 

   

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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 visited here.    

Perry's Monument at sunset
Perry's Victory (NPS)

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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.

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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

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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 Port Dover.

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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

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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).

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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

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August 20th, 2009 Kingston, ON -  At long last, Fort Henry appears to be getting its own visitor centre.  Considering the size of the famous Fort, it is long overdue and will add greatly to the visitor's experience at the majestic location. Visit Fort Henry. (Sword and knot on the site's opening image was provided by MilitaryHeritage.com) Also read an article on life in camp at Fort Henry in the war.

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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.

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August 17th, 2009 Prescott, ON - The St. Lawrence valley will be getting another Museum Visitor Centre, this time at Fort Wellington National Historic Site.   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 at Prescott.   Read an article on the Fort Wellington during the war.

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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

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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 Ontario (Oswego).

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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.

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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 Niagara  League.

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