Tuesday, May 15, 2012

More Money Going to War of 1812 Bicentennial

From April 23rd WKBW 7 Eyewitness News "Niagara Falls National Heritage Area Commission Awards Grants Commemorating the War of 1812."

A total of $32,335 were awarded in grants Io the following organizations:

Historic Association  of Lewistown; Battle of Queenstown Heights

Lewistown Council of the Arts; Marble Orchard: Spirit of 1812

Old Fort Niagara Association; Blue Coats Along the Niagara

Niagara 1812 Legacy Council; Niagara 1812 website

Hey, You need the Dough to Do the Things.  --Brock-Perry

Monday, May 14, 2012

Why Commemorate the War of 1812?

From the April 28th Digital Journal "Commemorating the War of 1812: Why" by Katie Ryalen.

According to Canada's official government site, " The war helped establish [Canada's] path toward becoming an independent and free country, united under the Crown with respect for linguistic and ethnic diversity."

**  established Canada's armed forces

**  laid the foundation for Confederation

**  established the cornerstone of many of the nation's political institutions

**  A 2009 Canadian poll showed that 74% of American travelers and 66% of Canadians were unable to recall a specific event from the war.

**  To Americans especially, the war just wasn't important.

**  Coming at the same time as the 150th and 70th anniversaries of the Civil War and World War II, the older war will likely take a backseat to these more famous ones.

Telling It Like It Is.  --Brock-Perry

Bits of War: Bicentennial Flags-- Fort La Motte-- Fort Ferree

Bits of War:  Some New News about a really Old War.

1.  BICENTENNIAL FLAGS--  From the April 12 Niagara This Week.com--  Flags from the Bicentennial Commission can now be purchased.  Resident and graphic designer Barbara Geib designed them and they have been installed on utility poles in town.

2.  FORT LA MOTTE--  The April 28th WTHI TV in Terre Haute, Indiana, reported that the Fort La Motte Days were being held that weekend at the recreated War of 1812 fort at Palestine, Illinois.

3.  FORT FERREE--  The April 22nd Mansfield (Ohio) News-Journal reported that Tom Hill Sr. spoke on "Fort Ferree and William Henry Harrison in the War of 1812" at the Bucyrus Historical Society.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Havre de Grace Launches Bicentennial License Plate

From the April 12th Explore Hartford.com "Havre de Grace to launch license plate for War of 1812 bicentennial: City invaded by the British in 1813" by Bryna Zumer.

The city of Havre de Grace, Maryland, unveiled its new license plate with the dates 1813 and 2013.

Despite defense by John O'Neill and militia on May 3, 1813, a British force under Rear Admiral George Cockburn was able to take the city and burned many homes and other buildings.

The logo features a historically accurate 15-star American flag to the left of a British Union Jack.  Both are on top of a cannon.  Cost of the plates is $35 to $40 and they are available from the Tourism Office.

Gotta Get Me One.  --Brock-Perry

Friday, May 11, 2012

Warship Excavation in Maryland

From the April 26th Gazette.net Maryland Community News Online "Warship excavation planned near Upper Marlboro: Ship believed to be flagship of fleet scuttled prior to War of 1812 battle" by Erich Wagner.

Archaeologists from the State Highway Administration, the Maryland Historic Trust and the Navy believe that the USS Scorpion was scuttled at a site on the Patuxent River near Upper Marlboro and plan to begin work on it next spring.

Right now, they are preparing their plans and obtaining environmental permits.

They are hoping for artifacts and looking at ways of cutting the site off from the river with a cofferdam so they can work like on dry land.

The Scorpion was the flagship of Commodore Joshua Barney's Chesapeake Bay Flotilla built in 1814 to harass the larger British blockading ships.  Those ships chased the Americans up the Patuxent River where the ships were scuttled so the crews could join soldiers at the Battle of Bladensburg.  The British won that battle and burned Washington, D.C..

The project will cost $5 million and run through 2017. It is expected that the ship is well preserved because a week or two after the ship was sunk, a hurricane blew through and covered the wreck with sediment.

Always Neat When Something Old is Excavated.  --Brock-Perry

Bits of War: Erie's Commemoration-- Illinois' Fort Johnson-- Tall Ships New York

1.  ERIE'S COMMEMORATION--From the April 27th Erie (Pa) Time News by Erica Erwin.  It will consist of concerts, picnics, lectures, movies, historical tours and a parade.  In total, there will be over 30 events spread out over 18 months.  Perry's Lake Erie fleet was built at Erie.http://www.perry200.com/

2.  ILLINOIS' FORT JOHNSON--  Steve Tieken spoke in Quincy, Illinois about Fort Johnson which was built near Warsaw, Illinois during 1812.  He discussed his systematic search and high-tech methods he used to record, document and preserve artifacts found at the post.

3.  TALL SHIPS NEW YORK--  Seventeen Tall Ships will be visiting New York City for Op Sail 2012 for the bicentennial of the War of 1812.  The ships will be open to the public from May 23rd to May 30th.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

War of 1812 Cannon to Go On Display

From the April 27th Boston.com "Cannon from War of 1812 to go on display in Maine museum after years of being in storage" by Colin A. Young.

It was likely aboard a British ship in a battle off the coast of Maine and has recently been moved to the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath after being in storage in Portland for a long time.

It is believed to have been on the HMS Boxer during its battle with the USS Enterprise in Muscongus Bay, September 5, 1813.  The Enterprise won and the Boxer was brought into Portland Harbor where parts were auctioned off.  The 1,500 pound cannon capable of firing 6-pound cannonballs ended up as a lawn ornament at Cape Elizabeth.

Sometime in the late 1800s, it was transferred to the Maine Historical Society and immediately loaned to the Portland City Hall where it was displayed for awhile before being put into storage.

Its most recent trip to the museum where it will be displayed was April 26th.

Seeing the Light of Day Again.  --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Burial Ground in a Golf Course

From the March 22nd WIVB 4 "300 war dead buried under golf course."

The golf course in Delaware Park in Buffalo, New York, has a burial ground on it.

Three hundred War of 1812 soldiers who died from disease and exposure are buried there.  A plaque on a stone on the course marks the site, but doesn't mention the 300.  Two cannons also at the site were stolen in the 1980s.

Watch Where You Tee Off.  --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Connecticut's Reluctant Involvement in the War of 1812

From the March 22nd Cheshire (Ct) Patch "Connecticut's Reluctant Involvement in the War of 1812" by Philip R. Devlin.

The War of 1812 was very unpopular in New England, especially in Connecticut which feared it would have negative effects on its emerging industry.  The entire Connecticut Congressional delegation voted against what they considered as "Mr. Madison's War."

The New England Federalists gathered at the Hartford Convention to find ways to oppose the war and even went so far as to consider seceding from the country.

Even so, some 3,000 to 4,000 state citizens were soldiers or sailors defended their home state, many in the 25th Infantry Regiment.  They participated in the invasions of Canada and took part in the battles at Stoney Creek, Niagara Falls, Crysler's Field and Chippawa.

On Nov. 11, 1813, the British and Canadian forces were badly outnumbered at Crysler's Field, but won.  Sixteen men from Connecticut died of the U.S. total of 102 killed.

The British fleet blockaded the state coastline and attacked Stonington and Essex.

The Story of a State at War.  Seceding?  --Brock-Perry

New Orleans Kicked Off US Commemoration

It's over, but the official U.S. commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812, kicked off in New Orleans during Navy week, now ended.  It began here because it sort of ended here (well, the war was already over, but this was the last fighting).

Other commemorative events are planned in Chicago, Milwaukee, Toledo, Cleveland, Detroit and Buffalo on the Great Lakes.

Of course, there is also the fighting that took place in Washington, D.C. and Maryland, which will probably be the largest.

So It begins.  --Brock=Perry

Monday, May 7, 2012

Try an "1812 Cannonballs"

From the April 18th Cape Breton Post "Ontario dairy bar marks War of 1812 bicentennial gory ice cream."

Hagersville, Ontarioo

Hewitt's Dairy Bar has been on Highway 6 for 50 years and now has a new flavor, "1812 Cannonballs" concocted for kids and "admittedly morbid."

The green vanilla base symbolizes a battlefield, chocolate candies are cannonballs and, the red strawberry ripple, of course, blood.

Grownups can have "Redcoat Rations" an ice cream concoction like what would have been eaten back then consisting of apples, maple syrup and oatmeal cookie.

Cost is $2.15 a cone and the treat was launched April 20th with free samples going out to uniformed re-enactors.  But, you better hurry up and get there as these items are available for only two years.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find any photo of the "1812 Cannonballs."

Getting Your History on the Sweet.  --Brock-Perry

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Portrait of Sir Isaac Brock Returns to Canada for Celebration

From the April 18th Vancouver Sun by Randy Boswell.

The only-known adult portrait done from life completed in Quebec just before the war began of the "mythic figure in Canada's history" which has been in Guernsey, England for many years was to be returned to Canada on loan within the week.

The 23-by-15-centimeter painting was created by Dutch artist Gerrir Schippes who could do a portrait in just 45 minutes.

Sir Isaac Brock was killed by an American sharpshooter at the Battle of Queensboro Heights near Niagara Falls

The small pastel portrait was believed to have been shipped back to Brock's family in his native Guernsey (an English Channel Island) either just prior to the war or shortly after his death.  It has remained there ever since.  His descendants sold it to the Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery in 2009, despite a competing bid from the Niagara-area River Brink Art Museum which raised $100,000.

But, the Guernsey Museum has offered to loan it to the River Brink Museum because of the bicentennial.

Mighty Nice of Them to Do That.  --Brock-Perry

Friday, May 4, 2012

"Star-Spangled Banner Trail Unveiled

From the April 20th Washington Post "Star-Spangled Banner Trail plan released" by Steve Vogel.

Plans for this new trail were released by the National Park Service for the public review commission.  It has been developed to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and to portray the legacy of the Chesapeake Bay.

It includes 550 miles of land and water routes.

It was approved in 2008 and the public has until May 21st to comment on it.

The full name is the Star-Spangled Banner National Historical Trail and it includes mileage in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

The website:  http://www.nps.gov/stsp/index.htn.

Looks Like I Am Going to Have to Save Up to Buy Gas.  --Brock-Perry

Thursday, May 3, 2012

"1814 and We Took a Little Trip"

From the April 14th Toledo (Oh) Blade "History lesson is in perfect pitch" by Janet Romaker.

"So we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round" was one of the many great lines from Johnny Horton's song, "The Battle of New Orleans.  To some Americans, this is their history lesson as to the War of 1812.  This is all they really know for sure.  And, there is no way I can hear the song without singing along (usually in my head so folks don't think I'm weird.

The song was written by Johnny Driftwood, a history teacher/principal who penned it to help his students learn about the war.

Northwest Ohio was the scene of many actions during the war, many taking place along the Maumee River.  Thirty-three Ohio counties had encampments, battles skirmishes, sieges or massacres.  Neighbor Kentucky claims to have provided more soldiers than any other state.

"We Took a Little Bacon and ..." Who Did We Catch Near What Town?--  Brock-Perry

US Navy Turns to War of 1812 for Help

From the April 14th Washington Post by Steve Vogel.

The United States Navy has begun a three year commemoration of the War of 1812 with information, events and educational outreach sites.

Gallup polls show that less than 9% of Americans understand the role the current Navy plays, that is ahead of the Coast guard, but way behind the Marines, Army and Air Force.  The role today is the same as it was 200 years ago, "Freedom of the Seas."

The War of 1812 was the Navy's coming of age and one of the most glorious episodes in its history, from the USS Constitution's single-ship victories to Perry's victory at the Battle of Lake Erie.  By the end of the war, the Navy had a host of heroes and enduring battle slogans like "Don't Give Up the Ship."

Even better, Congress authorized funding for a permanent Navy and powerful fleet as a result of it.

Go Navy!!  --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

War of 1812 a Big Deal in Canada-- Part 2

Toronto is planning more than 100 events including an 1812-related film festival and military parades.  It was called York back then.  Parliamentary buildings were burned by American invaders during six days of occupation during the war.

On the American side of the bicentennial, the state of Maryland with more than 500 war-related sites is the most involved.  This June, Baltimore will kick off Maryland's three-year $25 million commemoration with a "Star-Spangled Sailabration."

There will also be an underwater archaeological dig to recover war artifacts and an online game for kids called "Hold the Fort" about Fort McHenry.

Of course, the big event will be the bicentennial of Fort McHenry in 2014.

Let's get It On.  --Brock-Perry

War of 1812 Bicentennial a Big Deal in Canada-- Part 1

From the Feb. 25th Los Angeles Times by Richard Simon.

Many Americans know little about the War of 1812 and don't care, but it is a big deal to our Canadian neighbors who consider it a pivotal conflict in their history.  Their government is spending $28 million in public money to commemorate it.  A few American cities along the east coast and the Great Lakes also plan to do the same.

One historian joked that the "only thing most Americans know of the war was that it began in 1812."  Or perhaps it ended that year?  Perhaps, some might recall the burning of Washington, DC, or the Star-Spangled Banner.

The war ended essentially in a draw.

Canada considers it important because they repelled American invasions.  Back then, our peaceful border wasn't so peaceful.  Canada as it is today, would probably not exist had the Americans been successful.  The war forever linked the different provinces in shared danger and a common enemy (that would be us) and paved the way to confederation and the establishment of the Dominion of Canada in 1867.

And, I was always under the assumption that the people of Canada would be eager to shed British domination.

The Reason I Started This Blog and I Have Already Learned a Lot About It.  --Bock-Perry

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

1814 British Raid on Essex, Ct.: More US Ships Lost Than at Pearl Harbor

From the April 5th East Haddam (Ct) Haddam Patch by Philip R. Devlin.

Most War of 1812 action in Connecticut took place in and around Long Island Sound.  The American attempt to blow up a British ship in New London Harbor caused a British retaliatory attack against Pettipaug Point, today's Essex, Ct..

To free Commodore Stephen Decatur's squadron from British blockade, a barge steered toward the HMS La Hogue with a torpedo deployed on the front, but the hauling line got tangled in the ship's anchor line and the torpedo blew up prematurely causing no damage.

The next day, some Americans in a small skiff were captured and agreed to lead the British to Pettipaug Point.  On April 8, 1814, 220 British soldiers went 6 miles up the Connecticut River.  A deal was struck whereby homes would be saved, but 28 American ships were torched and two were taken.

Essex still celebrates the "Burning of the Ships"  the second Saturday in May.

Something I Didn't Know.  --Brock-Perry