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Interpreter, Indian Department, 1812-1815

Type: Image

Officers and interpreters of the British Indian Department in Canada were often found in action with warriors during the War of 1812, the most famous instance being possibly at Beaver Dams in June 1813. At that time, the department’s uniform scarlet was faced with green. Interpreters, not being commisioned officers, did not have epaulettes. Reconstruction by Ron Volstad. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

James Fitzgibbon's 1820 testimonial regarding Laura Secord

Type: Document

In June 1813, James FitzGibbon (1780-1863) was a lieutenant of the 49th (the Hertfordshire) Regiment of Foot in command of the British outpost at Beaver Dams. He received warning from Laura Secord (1775-1868) of an impending American surprise attack, and his instructions led to their ambush and surrender. FitzGibbon had a remarkable military career, which reached its high point when he was largely responsible for preventing Mackenzie's rebels from taking Toronto in 1837. This testimonial was reproduced in ‘From Brock to Currie’ (Toronto, 1935).

Site: National Defence

Laura Secord discovered by British Amerindian allies, 22 June 1813

Type: Image

Laura Secord (1775-1868) walked into a camp of Amerindians towards the end of her famous 30 kilometre trek on 22 June 1813. The group were allies of the British, and they led Secord to a detachment of British troops stationed at the DeCew house, on the Niagara Escarpment near present-day St. Catherines, Ontario. There, she was able to pass on her warning of an impending American attack. This print gives a rather romanticized view of the heroine. At the time of her exploit, Secord was 38, rather older than suggested here. Nevertheless, a contemporary eyewitness account describes her 'slender frame and delicate appearance'.

Site: National Defence

Mohawk Warrior from Tyendinaga, 1813

Type: Image

This man is from one of the several Iroquois settlements established in Canada after the American Revolution (1775-1783). With face paint, capot (coat), sash and mitasses (leggings), he is dressed for cold weather. Warriors from several settlements (including Tyendinaga, near Belleville, Ontario) gave outstanding services during the War of 1812. One triumph was at Beaver Dams in June 1813. Warned by Laura Secord, a party of 100 Mohawks from Grand River joined with a 300-strong group of Iroquois from Kanesatake, Kahnawake (both near Montreal, Quebec) and Akwesasne (near Cornwall, Ontario) to force a strong American force to surrender at Beaver Dams on 24 June 1813. Reconstruction by Ronald B. Volstad. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

This Week in History: Archives: Laura Secord

Type: Document

In January of 1998, Parks Canada introduced a weekly Web Site named This Week in History, which presents a variety of events that have shaped Canada’s past, present and future. These short texts are summaries, not complete histories, meant to entice the reader to explore Canadian history. Search by keyword or by title.

Site: Parks Canada

Iroquois Terrorize Americans Into Surrender

Type: Document

Warned by Laura Secord, British Lieutenant Fitzgibbon ordered that the Americans be ambushed by a body of Iroquois warriors. While fewer in number, the Amerindians scared the Americans so much that the invaders surrendered with relief when FitzGibbon's British troops finally arrived.

Site: National Defence

Parks Canada News Releases and Backgrounders: Laura Secord (1775-1868)

Type: Document

There are few names more recognisable in Canadian history than that of Laura Secord. A committed patriot, she was a renowned hero of the War of 1812, a civilian who walked, alone and defenceless, through occupied and dangerous territory for a distance of 32 kilometres to warn British forces of an impending American attack.

Site: Parks Canada

A Secret Overheard

Type: Document

By June 1813, the Americans had been forced back to Fort George. General Dearborn planned a strong raid against the British outpost at Beaver Dams. Laura Secord, a Canadian civilian, carried news to the British after American officers discussed preparations in her home.

Site: National Defence