Friday, December 28, 2012

Halifax's Role in the War

From the June 18, 2012, CBC News "Halifax celebrates its contribution to the War of 1812."

Monday afternoon, June 18th, the daily noon cannon on top of Citadel Hill fired three extra times to mark the three years of the War of 1812.  The United States declared war on Great Britain and the British colonies in today's central and eastern Canada.

The key battles between the two sides were in Central Canada, but Halifax, Nova Scotia,  played a role as the home base of the Royal Navy's North American Squadron.

Many British regiments which fought in Upper and Lower Canada passed through Halifax.  The city also had a sizable privateer fleet that operated from is harbor.  These ships made huge profits.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

How the War of 1812 Turned St. Joseph Island Into a Ghost Town

From the June 6, 2012, Sault (Can) Star by Michael Purvis.

Sandra Rousseau wrote a 100-page book based on the writings of officers stationed at Fort St. Joseph.

These mentioned the mandatory migration of St. Joseph Island residents early in the war in an effort to hold recently captured Mackinack Island and to protect the Sault Ste. Marie, which played a vital role in the fur trade.

If Mackinack was lost to the Americans, they could then easily capture Sault Ste. Marie which would have extreme recourse to the important Canadian fur-trade.

Many of the residents ended up on Drummond Island which became a part of the United States after the war.  By 1828, 75 families from St. Joseph Island had followed the British soldiers to Penetanguishene.

War on the Frontier.  --Brock-Perry

Fort Wayne's "Old Fort"

This past Monday and Saturday, I wrote about a re-enactment in that Indiana town being held at a place called "Old Fort."  I hadn't heard of it before so went to the town's parks and recreation site.  And it wasn't NBC's Pawnee, Indiana.

It is called "Historic Old Fort" and is a recreation of the original fort, primarily used as a living history museum these days.  Visitors get a first-person interpretation of life in the western 1816s.

Many events are held there each year.  Some upcoming ones in 1813:

January--  French garrison 1753

June 8-9 Siege of Fort Wayne, 1812

July 13th and 14th:  Revolutionary War, the Western Front.

So, Who Knew?  --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Last Veteran of the War of 1812: Hiram Cronk

From the Sept. 2, 2012 Syracuse Post-Standard" by Debra Groom.

Hiram Cronk died May 5, 1905 and his death made the news all across the United States.  A major parade was held through Manhattan and 50,000 people paid their respects at the New York City hall.

Today, there is a New York State historical marker on Webster Hill Road in Ava, outside of Rome, New York, where he lived.  Betty Nash, 87, is his great-great granddaugheter.

Cronk joined the Army August 4, 1814, at age 14, shortly after the British burned down Fort Ontario in Oswego and were planning to move inland through New York.  He joined the 157th New York Regiment along with his brothers John and Casper and father James. They journeyed to Sackets Harbor where Hiram was made a drummer because of his young age.

His commanders were Captain Edmund Fuller and Lt. Col. Erastus Cleveland.

His service amounted to three months before he returned to his farm for Thanksgiving.

Cronk outlived his son, Van Rensselear, who was killed in the Civil War at the Battle of Shiloh and buried in an unmarked grave.

Until he was 100, he received a federal pension of $12 a month which was then raised to $25.  There are some that say he also had that pension upped to $72 a month by the NY legislature.  Then, considered a rich man, women from the ages of 21 to 70 wanted to marry him.

He is buried at Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn.

The Last.  --Brock-Perry

Monday, December 24, 2012

Re-Enactment at Fort Wayne-- Part 2

The War of 1812 opened very badly for the United States.  First, Fort Michilimackinack, in upper Michigan fell in July.  Then came the fall of Fort Detroit and Fort Dearborn, leaving Fort Wayne as the only American fort in the upper Northwest Territory.

Fort Wayne's commander told his junior officers to evacuate the fort and then spent the rest of the time drunk in his quarters.  There were soon surrounded by Indians led by Tecumseh.  Two lieutenants put the commander under arrest and ordered the fifty soldiers to hold the post.

Indian attacks began in September and some of the soldiers were killed, but the fort remained in American hands.  The British commander in the Great Lakes area, Gen. Henry Proctor sent a force of 200 British, 400 Canadian troops and 800 Indians to take it, but U.S. Indiana Territory Governor William Henry Harrison sent militia to reinforce Fort Wayne and the two armies met near Defiance, Ohio, and the British were forced to retreat.

Fort Wayne Held.  --Brock-Perry

Re-Enactment at Indiana's Fort Wayne-- Part 1

From the Sept. 3, 2012, Fort Wayne (Ind) News-Sentinel "Ear of 1812's Siege of Fort Wayne comes to life in re-enactment this weekend at Old Fort" by Kevin Kilbane.

Back on Labor Day weekend, there were nearly 200 re-enactors at Old Fort at 1201 Spy Run Avenue in Fort Wayne.  (Must be an interesting story as to how that road got its name.)

Fort Wayne was named for General "Mad" Anthony Wayne and used to stand where Fire Station No. 1 is today at the intersection of Main and Lafayette streets.

It was one of a series of American frontier forts built to keep the British out of the Northwest territory, distribute treaty payments to the Indians and encourage settlement by people of European descent.


This treaty contributed to the start of the War of 1812 as it transferred 3 million acres of Indian land in what is now Indiana and Illinois to the U.S. government.  A lot of Indians refused to go along with, especially one from the Shawnee Nation called The Prophet who said that the recent New Madrid earthquake and a comet seen in the skies were a sign for the Indians to rise up against the U.S. soldiers and settlers.

Early War.  --Brock-Perry

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Commodore Isaac Hull: American Hero-- Part 2: The Hat

He was commissioned a 4th Lt. in the U.S. Navy in 1798 and eventually assigned to the USS Constitution.

The Constitution was designed by Quaker Joshua Humphreys of Pennsylvania and was a state-of-the-art war machine when launched in 1797 as one of the first six U.S. Navy ships, all named by George Washington.

In 1799, Hull became second in command of the ship as 1st Lt and in 1806, became its captain.

In 1812, it narrowly escaped a British squadron and then attained a historic defeat of the British 38-gun frigate HMS Guerriere off Nova Scotia August 19th.  During the battle, the Constitution's 25-inch thick wooden sides caused the British shot to bounce off.  A sailor saw this and yelled, "Huzza!  Her sides are made of iron!"

After half an hour, the outgunned Guerriere was forced to surrender in the mismatched battle.  Its captain, James Daores had known Hull before the war and once in the same port had bet his hat that if the two ships weer ever to fight, that he'd win.  When the two met, Hull refused the traditional surrender sword, but did want his hat.

Hull and his men became instant heroes.  Afterwards, Hull was ordered to Portsmouth's Navy Yard in Kittery where he served for the rest of the war.

After the war, he settled in Philadelphia where he died Feb. 13, 1843, with his last words, "I Strike my flag."  The house he was born in no longer stands.

American hero.  --Brock-Perry

Commodore Isaac Hull, American Hero-- Part 1: Younger Life

From the May 22, 2012, Valley (Ct) Independent Sentinel "Coomodore Hull. 200 years later" by Derby Shelton.

Isaac Hull was from Derby, Connecticut, Lower Naugatuck Valley, and became a star in 1812.

Today, in the valley, Route 8 has the Commodore Isaac Hull Bridge over the Housatonic River.  There is also a Commodore Hull Thanksgiving Day race for runners.

A pair of his pants are in the Derby Historical Society.

Isaac Hull was born in Derby on March 3, 1773 at a house near the Housatonic River.  His father, Joseph Hull made trading voyages to the West Indies and was a whaler.  Joseph was made a prisoner of the British during the American Revolution and after release commanded a flotilla of whale boats on Long Island Sound that harassed the enemy.

Joseph died in 1778, and young Isaac was adopted by his Uncle William, who was a war hero himself.  He wanted his nephew to go to college, but Isaac opted to go to sea and became a cabin boy on a merchant ship at age 14.

By 1793, at a young age, he commanded a ship sailing to the West Indies.

Road to Hero.  --Brock-Perry

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bits of War: Andover Streets-- Daughters of 1812-- Worth celebrating?

Bits of War--  New News About An Old War.

1.  ANDOVER STREETS-- From the June 1, 2012, Andover (Mass) Townsman.  The Andover streets of Poor, Frye, Chadler, Lovejoy, Stevens and Abbot are all named for locals who fought in the War of 1812.

2.  DAUGHTERS OF 1812--  From the June 5, 2012, Houston Chronicle.  The Thomas Bay Chapter of the United States Daughters of 1812 will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of the US declaration of war on June 18th. 

3.  WORTH CELEBRATING--June 5, 2012, Macleans, Canada, ran a poll asking if the War of 1812 was worth celebrating.  The voting:

Yes, it helped create Canada  30.7%
No, it was long ago 13.6%
We should never glorify war 22.37%

Guess We Know Where They're Coming From.  --Brock-Perry

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Students Dig Into 1812 War Site: Fort Willow, Ontario

From the May 20, 2012, The Barrie Advance, Ontario, Canada.

St. Joseph's Catholic High School is excavating a site at Fort Willow using a $8500 federal grant.  Fort Willow was a supply depot on the Nine Mile Portage.  Troops stationed there helped the British retain control of Michilimackinac and the Northwest.

They have been doing the excavating since 2005 and students have unearthed over 20,000 artifacts which can be seen at the Simcoe County Museum.

The Royal Newfoundland Regiment arrived in the spring of 1814 after an epic march from Kingston with the goal of resupplying the garrison at Fort Michilimackinac.  They felled trees and built 30 batteaux, rowed down the Nottawasaga River and across Lake Huron, a trip of 360 miles and arrived without the loss of any of the supplies.

Getting Young Folks Involved.  A Good Thing.  --Brock-Perry

American and British Bases Around Maine-- Part 3

On the window in a home in Castine, Maine, probably in 1814, a British officer took his diamond ring and carved the phrase "Yankee Doodle Topsy-Turvey" along with the image of a British flag over an upside-down American flag.  That's a real piece of history I'd like to see.

The town was occupied at the time and British troops were garrisoned in private homes.

The house remains, but the window was removed in the early 1980s.  Awwww!

British ships dominated Penobscot Bay and much of the Maine coast.

Bangor and Hampden were sacked ruthlessly by British troops even though New Englanders were generally against the war which they saw as bad for trade.  Also, New Englanders favored the Federalists who were more elite than the commoners.

Tyler Shaw of Newport was paid to carry supplies by boat to Americans at Eastport.  Instead, he too the supplies to the British and sold to them.When the Federal government found out about it, Shaw was arrested.  Family members broke him out and he fled to Canada, never to return.

What a Guy, That Tyler Shaw.  --Brock-Perry

American and British Bases Around Maine-- Part 2


Wiscasset, Maine
Castine, Maine
Salem, New Hampshire
Machias, Maine


Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Portland, Maine


HMS Shannon-- USS Chesapeake June 1, 1813
Battle of Hampden September 3, 1814
HMS Boxer-- USS Enterprise September 5, 1813


Penobscot Expedition Sept. 1, 1814
Machias Expedition September 10, 1814
Moose Island  July 18, 1814

More Going On Than You'd Think.  --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

American and British Bases Around Maine-- Part 1

From the May 31, 2012, MidCoast "Coastal Mainers defended and betrayed key front in War of 1812" by Tom Groening.

According to a map accompanying the article, from Boston to the northeast Maine border, there was one major US Navy base in Boston, two other secondary bases, five privateering ports and three battle sites.  American privateering bases were located at Glouchester, Bath, Belfast and two other sites.

In Nova Scotia, there is a major Royal Navy base at Halifax and two secondary bases.  Two British secndary bases were at St. John, New Brunswick and Liverpool, Nova Scotia.


War of 1812 Flag Being Restored

From the May 28, 2012, CBC News.

The flag was carried by the 104th Regiment of Foot from Frederickton and Kingston, Ontario, and will be exhibited at the New Brunswick Museum.  The regiment was composed of men from the maritime  provinces and from what then was Upper Canada and Lower Canada (Ontario and Quebec).

Gary Hughes, museum curator, said, "It's kind of almost like a Canadian regiment before there was a Canada."

The group is in the history books for its epic 1,100 kilometer march during the winter of 1813 to help defend Canada from an American invasion.  They were on the move for 52 days from February to April, using snowshoes and toboggans with temperatures below 27 degrees C.  Eight hundred men completed it through waist-high snow.

The flag is a 6 by 6 foot silk banner and being refurbished in Halifax thanks to the gift of an unknown donor.

Save the Flag.  --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ten Things You Didn't Know About the War of 1812-- Part 5


Few Americans know much about the war other than D.C. being burned, Fort McHenry and the Star-Spangled Banner, even if Jose can say.  The U.S. invaded Canada three times with the intentions of making it part of the country.  To Canadians, the memory of the war brings pride that runs deep.  It was David vs. Goliath.

American War Hawks (who wanted the war) believe Canada's conquest would be easy (even Jefferson believed it would be but the matter of a march).  They were under the misconceived idea that Canadians wanted to throw off the British yoke and become a part of the United States. 

Laura Secord and Isaac Brock are major Canadian heroes who most Americans have never heard of.  I had never heard of them before I started this blog.


Some Americans living today were alive when the last War of 1812 veteran died in 1905.  A grand parade was held in New York City to honor the life of Hiram Silas Cronk who died April 29th, two weeks after his 105th birthday.  he has cast his first presidential vote for Andrew Jackson and his last for Grover Cleveland.

He lived most of his life in obscurity at his farm in New York state, but became more and more famous as he approached his death.  New York City began planning his funeral months before he died.

So, Did You Know?  --Brock-Perry

Monday, December 17, 2012

Ten Things You Didn't Know About the War of 1812-- Part 4


Well, actually, it was Colonel Custer at the Little Big Horn.  The Battle of the River Raisin took place in Michigan in 1813 and resulted in a big defeat for the Americans.  The British Indian allies afterwards attacked the wounded and prisoners and it turned into a massacre which sparked the American battle cry "Remember the Raisin."

William Henry Harrison led Americans to later victories and on his tomb is inscribed "Avenger of the River Raisin."

George Armstrong Custer grew up in Monroe, Michigan, along the Raisin River.  There is an 1871 photograph of him standing with some War of 1812 veterans by a monument for the battle.  Five years later, he himself was killed at another massacre.  Of course, Custer was no stranger to massacres, having done it often in his Indian fighting.


The New England states came close to seceding from the Union because of the war, which they felt would hurt their economic interests.  The Hartford Convention of the states of New England came as close to secession as anything before South Carolina seceded in 1860.  The states viewed  it as a separation of two sovereign states.

These states had been considering such a move for the fifteen previous years, especially after southerner Thomas Jefferson was elected in 1800.  The New Englanders stood solidly against the Louisiana Purchase and the Embargo Act of 1807.  They felt this would help the Southern states at their expense.

Kind of strange that they would be on the other side of secession less than fifty years later.


Ten Things You Didn't Know About the War of 1812-- Part 3


To Americans, the burning of the White House and other public buildings by the British was a barbaric act.  But, in actuality, it was payback in kind for the American torching of York (today's Toronto) a year earlier.  It was then the capital of Upper Canada (today's Ontario).  Unites States troops plundered the town and then burned down the parliament building.

Perhaps the burning of the White House was for the better as the original one was very combustible and it was rebuilt much sturdier.    Plus, white paint replaced the white wash on the original, making for a much whiter building.  Plus, the British also burned Congress' library, which was replaced by Thomas Jefferson's own personal library, which became the foundation of the Library of Congress.


There was much combat with Indians along the frontier areas.  Andrew Jackson battled Creeks in the South and William Henry Harrison fought Indians allied with the British in the Old Northwest Territory.

Of course, by this time, the Indians knew exactly what the Americans intended for them and their land which led to their alliance with the British as their only help.  The British not winning the war opened the way for waves of American settlers pouring into Indian territory and the eventual Indian Removal.

Four More.  --Brock-Perry

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ten Things You Didn't Know About the War of 1812-- Part 2


The Congreve Rockets looked like giant bottle rockets.  They were canisters loaded with gunpowder, tar and shrapnel that spun in the air when fired, putting out a red glare.  They were essentially very inaccurate, but intimidating, kind of an 1814 version of "shock and awe."

The bombs bursting in air were 200 pound cannonballs designed to explode over a target and rain shrapnel down on the defenders

The British fired about 1500 rockets and bombs at Fort McHenry, but only four Americans died from the bombardment.

Of course, I have often heard the lyrics to "The Star-Spangled Banner," but had not known what the rockets were called.


In Troy, New York, a military supplier named Sam Wilson packed meat rations into barrels marked U.S..  According to local lore, a soldier inquiring as to what the initials stood for was told "Uncle Sam" Wilson who was feeding the American Army.

However, images of the white-bearded recruiter and symbol of the country did not appear until over a century later, during World War I.

I'd heard this story before.

Six More to Come.  --Brock-Perry

Ten Things You Didn't Know About the War of 1812-- Part 1

From the May 22, 2012, Smithsonian by Tony Horwitz and Brian Wolly.

I knew some of these, but not others.  Until I started this blog (and I didn't want to start it as I already had six blogs) I have to admit that I knew very little about the war as it turns out, but more than most Americans.


It was not just one year as the name suggests.  It was actually 39 months, longer than the Mexican, Spanish-American wars and the U.S. Involvement in World War I.

The Battle of New Orleans took place two weeks after the treaty to end  the war was signed, but even so, the war was not to officially end until Feb. 16, 1815 when the Senate and Madison ratified it.

Britain called it the American War of 1812 to differentiate it from their current war with Napoleon in Europe.

(I knew that the war lasted from 1812 to 1815 and that the Battle of New Orleans was fought after the war was over.)


One of the main reasons for the American declaration of war in June 1812 was the impressment of American sailors being forced into service in the Royal Navy.  The practice was fairly common at the time among the world's navies.

President Madison reported 6, 257 Americans impressed between 1807 and 1812.  there is some question as to the accuracy  of these numbers.

It was the British support of the Indians that led many South and West senators to lean toward war.

Obviously More to Come.  --Brock-Perry

Friday, December 14, 2012

Some Americans Held By the British As Prisoners

From Wikipedia.

Two went on to fame in the Civil War.

WILLIAM DAVIDSON (Pennsylvania representative)--  Captured at the fall of Detroit.

DAVID FARRAGUT went on to become a famous Civil War admiral, especially with his victories at New Orleans and Mobile Bay.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN GRAVES of Kentucky.  Commander.  Captured at the River Raisin Massacre.

NATHANIEL G.S. HART of Kentucky, under Graves' command.  Captain of Lexington Light Artillery.  Killed along with most of his men at the River Raisin Massacre.

WINFIELD SCOTT Commanded forces during War of 1812, Black Hawk War, Second Seminole War, Mexican War and the Civil War.

ROBERT YOUNG Hawaiian chief (of English and Hawaiian parents).  Taken prisoner at Battle of Lake Champlain.

A Civil War Connection.  --Brock-Perry

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The USS Washington, Ship-of-theLine

From Wikipedia.

Earlier this week, I wrote about Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and the war and mentioned the construction of the Ship-of-the-Line USS Washington that started in 1813 which kept a lot of people working.

I'd never heard of it, even though at one time it was the most powerful ship in the US Navy.

It was authorized by Congress Jan. 2, 1813, and laid down in May at the Portsmouth Navy Yard.  Launched Oct. 1, 1814 and commissioned August 26, 1815.  So it saw no action during the War of 1812.

Its measurements were 190 feet long, 54-foot beam, crew of 750 and carried 74 guns.

In May of 1816, it voyaged to Annapolis, Maryland and received many distinguished visitors, including the President and Mrs. James Madison.

Then, it was off to the Mediterranean Squadron where it served as the flagship of Commodore Isaac Chauncey.  It was placed in ordinary back the the United States in 1820 and remained there until broken up in 1843.

Now, I Know.  --Brock=Perry

Have Camera, Will Photograph

From the Dec. 10, 2012, Bryan (Ohio) Times.

The Ohio Society of the U.S. Daughters of 1812 is looking for volunteers with digital cameras to photograph the over 7,000 known War of 1812 veterans buried in Ohio.  The group plans to build a usable website which will be of great use to genealogists.

Persons interested can go to the group's website and find their country with the information already available.  I just typed in persons born in 1785 and found fifteen pages of names. 

The Daughters would like to have photos of the veterans grave, their wives and the cemetery signs for the website.

Sounds like a job for Denny Gibson, right?

Just a Tad Too Far Away.  --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The NPS' Road To War-- Part 2

Earlier this month, I wrote about the NPS vote as to whether or not the U.S. should have gone to war back in 1812.  I voted not to as there is no way we stood a chance against Britain if they managed to defeat Napoleon.   As it was, even their second-line troops were proving too much for us.  Our frigates were winning some battles with their frigates, but ours by far outclassed theirs, so that wasn't as big of a victory as it would seem.

Here is the 1812 Congressional vote.

In the House of Representatives:

For War: 79, or 62%
Against War: 49, or 38%

In the Senate:

For War: 19, or 59%
Against War:  13, or 41%

In the 2012 voting: 81% for war and 19% against.  The biggest gap occurred with my age group, 60 to 69 where 97% voted for and 3% against.

To War or Not to War.  --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The NPS' Road to War

These were some of the major reasons leading to the War of 1812:

MARITIME ISSUES  Since 1803, the British Navy impressed 6,000 American merchant sailors which violated our neutrality.  Britain and France were at war and making American trade with Europe difficult.  Between 1807 and 1812, some 900 American merchant ships were seized.

POLITICS  The Democratic Republican Party was in power, but had split into factions.  A war would rally the party together and stifle the anti-war Federalists.

NATIONAL HONOR  Americans were outraged by the trampling of perceived national rights.

WESTERN EXPANSION  The British were an obstacle to land opportunities in the West and on the northern borders..  Plus, there was the tempting prize of British Canada just waiting for annexation.  A victory in a war would also stop British support of Indian resistance to westward expansion.

Possibly Biting Off More Than One Could Chew In This Case.  --Brock-Perry

War of 1812 December 1812 Timeline

Dec. 3rd--  James Monroe serves as Secretary of War.

Dec. 18th-- Battle of Misissinewa

Dec. 26th--  Britain declares blockade of Chesapeake and Delaware bays.

Dec. 29th--  Paul Hamilton resigns as Secretary of the Navy.

Dec. 29th--  The USS Constitution defeats the HMS Java.


Monday, December 10, 2012

What the War of 1812 Meant to Portsmouth, N.H.-- Part 2

Captain Isaac Hull, who commanded the USS Constitution in the battle with the HMS Guerriere on August 18, 1812, took command of the shipyard in Portsmouth in 1813.  Construction was soon begun on "the 74," later named the USS Washington, a ship of the Line.  This provided work for many in the town and surrounding area.

Forts were built and fortified around Portsmouth to protect the shipyard.

On December 22, 1813, a great fire wiped out most of Portsmouth's commercial district.  British threats in the summer of 1814 caused some 3,000 New Hampshire militia to be stationed around the city.


What the War of 1812 Meant to Portsmouth, NH-- Part 1

From the May 23, 2012, Foster's Daily Democrat (NH).

The John Paul Jones House museum has a new exhibit with this title.

There is a copy of the June 27, 1812, Portsmouth Oracle with the headlines: "War!  Horrid War!  The Die Is Cast--  The Scene Changed--and the curtain of madness drawn between us and the national happiness and commercial prosperity."

Most of New England, stood against the war and New Hampshire essentially divided.  The anti-war Oracle stood in opposition of the pro-war New Hampshire Gazette.

Portsmouth's merchant economy was decimated by war restrictions and blockades.  Many merchants were forced into privateering where rewards could be great, but risks huge.  Reliance on this led to a boom-bust mentality.

It's a Privateer's Life For Me.  --Brock-Perry

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Some Bicentennial Events

From the May 23, 2012, Philadelphia CBS.  "Guide to Local War of 1812 Bicentennial Events" by Jay Lloyd.

1.  JUNE 13-19th Baltimore's Inner Harbor- Tall ships and warships.

2.  Until the end of MAY, New York City Fleet Week featuring ships from several navies and the US Coast Guard.

3.  CANNNBALL HOUSE on Ship carpenter Street in Lewes, Delaware.  Bombarded by the British fleet.

4.  "The Home of the Brave" exhibit at PENN'S LANDING.

FORT MIFFLIN at the confluence of the Delaware and Schuykill rivers will have a living history exhibition June 2nd.

5.  ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA is where Commodore Perry's fleet was built.  The rebuilt USS Niagara is home ported there.

Things Are Happening Commemorating the Forgotten War.  --Brock-Perry

Friday, December 7, 2012

The 71st Anniversary of Pearl Harbor

Lest we forget that event that changed the lives of every American in a matter of hours 71 years ago.

Not Forgetting Pearl Harbor Either.

Medal for First Nations on British Side

From the May 22, 2012, Wall Street Journal "Commemoration War of 1812 Medal for Aboriginal Canadians."

John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development has announced medals will be given to the 44 First Nations who fought on the British-Canadian side during the War of 1812.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Last War of 1812 Survivor Died in 1905-- Part 2

After the war, he was a shoemaker until he saved up enough to buy a farm.  In 1825, he married Mary Thornton and had seven children in their 60 years of marriage.  Mary died in 1885.  They also had 14 grandchildren.  Hiram Cronk lived in Herkimer County and in 1901 was the last War of 1812 pensioner.

"At age 101 years Mr. Cronk is still hale and hearty and, all things considered remarkably active.  He lives within a short distance of his birthplace.  Except for his absence during the war, he has seldom left the vicinity."

His family was noted for longevity.  Four brothers and a sister lived to be over 90.  From an early age, he  was a habitual user of tobacco, both chewing and smoking it.  Also, he drank strong liquor, but in moderation.

Maybe There Is Hope For Most Of Us.  --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Letters and Documents from the War of 1812 Up for Auction

From the Nov. 24, 2012, Art

An auction December 12th will feature three drafts of letters/reports from the summer of 1814 written by Alexander Dobbs, commander of a squadron of British ships, to his commander, Commodore Sir James Lucas Yeo.  One of them is a personal account of the Battle of Lundy's Lane.

Also included is Dobbs' account of the HMS Magnet which was blown up to prevent capture and his experience at the Siege of Fort Erie, where he said, "our losses have been very severe: 10 Seamen and 11 Marines killed, 15 Seamen and 18 Marines wounded and missing.. I fear that a number of the latter were blown up.  Lieut. Stevenson, Mr. Harris Master and myself were wounded. 

Mr. Hinde, Master's mate, had his thigh broke and was left in the Ditch where I fear he must have perished.  If there is any inaccuracy in this I trust you will excuse it, as my head aches so intolerably I can scarce hold it up."

Another letter from Yeo to Dobbs warns him not to get involved in any attack of the Army on the Americans.  This was essentially a warning to stay off the lake which was under the command of the Americans.

Some Primary Source Materials.  --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Quebec Force Repelled American Attack in Critical Battle

From the Nov. 24, 2012, National Post by James Careless.

In October 1813, 3,00 Americans under General Wade Hampton marched north from Plattsburgh, New York, with the goal of capturing Montreal, a vital supply stop for Upper Canada (now Ontario).  Its fall would cause the surrender of Upper Canada.  To stop them, a force of 1,600 French-Canadians and 172 Indians were deployed, including 110 Voltigeurs, British-trained French Lower Canadians under the command of Lt. Col. Charles de Salaberrry.

These troops harassed the Americans along the way, ambushing and felling trees.  At the Battle of Chateauguay, by the river of the same name, southwest of Montreal, the two forces fought.  Hampton attacked 400 fortified Canadians and de Salaberry mowed them down and made them think there were even more of them by having men with bugles wander around and blow them from various points.

This unnerved the Americans who retreated, ending a very serious threat.

Those Tricky Canadians.  --Brock-Perry

Last War of 1812 Survivor Died in 1905-- Part 1

From the Genealogy Bank. 

Hiram Cronk died May 13, 1905 after turning 105 just two weeks earlier.  After his death a whiskey company, Duffy's Pure Malt Whiskey, used his longevity to market its product.

Cronk lived and died on his farm in New York and his death was reported all across the United States.  New York City staged a lavish state funeral as tens of thousands paid their respects passing the body in the rotunda of the city hall.

His life embraced almost the whole history of the country when he died, having been born in 1800.  Until near his end, he received little publicity or fame.

After the war he became a shoemaker, earning enough money to buy land and become a farmer.

More to Come.  --Brock-Perry

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Now, You Can Vote for War or Not

The National Park Service has a new online activity giving you the ability to vote for or against of war.  It was set to end June 18th, the day the United States declared war against Britain.  Voting started back in May and evidently is still going on as I voted.

Go to

You can hear 8 Americans from the era giving their perspectives and after voting, you can see all sorts of interesting statistical breakdowns.

I voted against war, as there was no way we could match the British if we had their undivided attention.

To Fight or Not to Fight?  --Brock-Perry

War of 1812 Ticket Packages Offered in Baltimore

From the May 21, 2012, Baltimore Business Journal by Jim Bach.

Just in time for increased tourism due to the bicentennial of the war, the city of Baltimore, where the really big "Rockets Red Glare" thing took place, is jumping on the band wagon and offering discounted ticket packages.

For $18.12 (get it) adults can purchase a five-ticket pass.

Gotta Get Me One of Those.  --Brock-Perry

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Bicentennial Commemoration To Bring History to Life

From the May 21, 2012, Chattanoogan by Melanie Beauchamp.

The Natchez trace Parkway will have a "muster" May 26th at the Gordon House Historic Site.

Tensions were high in the spring of 1812 in the Tennessee and Mississippi Territories because of deterioration with relations with the British and Creek Indians.  Many "musters" took place where militia gathered to practice the art of war.

John Gordon, the home's owner, was the captain of one of Jackson's companies of spies and operated the ferry over the Duck River which he began operating in 1803.

Ferry Across the River.  --Brock-Perry