1812 - 2012

The War That Defined Us


'The forgotten war'
By Sandy Antal
The Detroit River theatre is the forgotten frontier of what has been called “the forgotten war”. Amid the recent flood of writings on the War of 1812, surprisingly little has been done to illuminate British operations in this frontier. Yet, the two foremost figures to emerge from this war made their names here – Brock, knighted for his capture of Detroit and Tecumseh, whose Native followers proved to be the principal defenders. In 1812, senior British commanders considered this area as critical to the defence of Upper Canada. Isaac Brock termed Amherstburg “the first and most important point” and declared that if it fell into American hands, he would have to evacuate all Upper Canada to Kingston. U.S. officials also recognized the importance of what President James Madison called “Uppermost Canada” and launched their first assault here, expecting an easy victory. Thomas Jefferson spoke of the conquest as “a matter of marching” and march they did – to Quebec City as prisoners of war or else to their home states as paroled prisoners. More Americans soldiers were captured here than on the remaining theatres of Upper Canada combined. However, despite a string of Anglo-Native victories, the tide turned. Madison committed virtually unlimited funds to this frontier. In Ohio, Fort Meigs was constructed as a springboard for invasion. It was the largest wooden fortification of its day in North America. The Americans also built a superior fleet which gained mastery on Lake Erie, enabling U.S. forces to invade Essex County in their largest amphibious operation conducted to that time. British priorities to the east left local defenders severely disadvantaged and after the battle of Moraviantown, Essex and Kent counties endured a harsh military occupation. During the first year, local militia were repeatedly called out to augment the scant British troops. While engaged in far-flung campaigns, their crops went neglected, producing severe food shortages. Under the American occupation, conditions only got worse with harvests commandeered, often on credit. In adBritish troops, Indians and French settlers made history on the march during the turbulent War of 1812. Now you can retrace their steps and connect with their fascinating past during commemorative events happening throughout 2012 and into 2015. Various organizations are ready to assist and guide you. As every general knows, a great campaign requires organization and communication. Several years ago, after the federal and provincial governments recognized the significance of the 1812 bicentennial, Ontario was divided into seven regions, each assigned a project facilitator. Kyra Knapp is the project facilitator for the South West region encompassing Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent. She works with more than 25 groups, including Amherstburg and other municipalities,Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island and history enthusiasts, all hosting various events. The continuously updated schedule is listed online at 1812ontario.ca. When you have questions about applying for grant funding or promoting an event,“I’m the person to come to,” says Knapp. She can be contacted at 519-784-1851. “If businesses can get on board, it’s a great opportunity for them,” she adds. In late May, she will make available templates of resources for local businesses, including restaurants and hotels


1812: The War that Defined Us Take a tour of Olde Sandwich Towne Tecumseh Parkway honours a hero Chief Tecumseh a visionary leader Stamps recognize Brock, Tecumseh Kreviazuk headlines Roots to Boots Spirit of a Nation takes to stage

4 7 8 10 15 16 18 20 22 26 30 32 34 36 37 38 40 42 44 46 47 49 50 52 53 54

Sandy Antal grew up in Leamington and has written two books about the War of 1812 and the local area.
- Photo courtesy Sandy Antal

In Pursuit of the Golden Key Reynolds sister's art and architecture Peter Rindlisbacher's historical art Mark Williams's life-size soldiers Historic structures renovated Re-enactors recreate 1812 battles High school murals restored A Who's Who of the War of 1812 Tall ships to visit region this summer A view of the war ... from their side Run for Heroes marathon set African Canadians fought for freedom French-Canadians were a force Political thriller based on 1812 River Canard history comes alive Leamington, Pelee Island celebrate Singing songs of the War of 1812 Battle of the Thames commemorated Experience First Nations life

dition to losing much of their provisions, the residents were robbed of the very means of their livelihood – horses, livestock, firearms, farm implements and a host of household items. Those who continued to serve on the British side had their homes burned down. Suspected collaborators were carried off to confinement in the U.S. Unknown numbers died of malnutrition and disease and by 1815, Essex and Kent counties were a virtual wasteland. Invaded at the outset and occupied for the last half of the war, they endured devastation that was unmatched by any other part of British North America. Although these counties comprised only one-twentieth of Upper Canadian population, they accounted for one-quarter of all war losses claims. On the occasion of the bicentennial of the War of 1812, this edition provides a glimmering of a strange and complex war on its forgotten theatre. Sandy Antal grew up near Leamington and gained degrees from Western, Carleton and Toronto universities. He retired from the Canadian Forces as a major and turned to teaching, research and writing. His comprehensive account A Wampum Denied: Procter`s War of 1812 is recipient of the American Library Association Choice Award. He also wrote Invasions and co-authored Duty nobly Done: the Official History of the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment. He now lives in Cameron, Ontario.

Groups commemorate war of 1812 BIceNteNNIaL
wanting to be involved. “There is definite recognition of how important this area is, not only for our history but also for tourism.” Knapp expects a lot of people will be visiting the area. With soldiers in uniform, artwork, tallships, genealogists, children’s activities, period food and fashion and so much else to experience, “We encourage everyone to come and explore their history.” One of the highlights this summer will be Roots to Boots 1812, Amherstburg’s signature event packed with activities throughout August 3 to 5. Chief Tecumseh and General Brock will be in attendance, looking right at home amidst spirited volunteers and visitors wearing period dress. “Over the three days, we anticipate approximately 50,000 people,” says Anne Rota, facilitator in Amherstburg’s Tourism and Special Events office. Special Windsor Transit buses and shuttles will help transport out-of-town people back in time to Amherstburg. An Amherstburg events schedule can be seen at 1812amherstburg.com. Rota can be contacted at 519-730-1309. “We’re really excited in our community,” says Rota. “It’s a once in a 200-year time to shine!”
- By Karen Paton-Evans

Cover: Against a background of artist Peter Rindlisbacher's painting of the Amherstburg Navy Yard, Mark Dickerson wears the colours of a British soldier in his re-enactment of the Battle of the Thames. See pages 26 and 53.

1812: The War That Defined Us published June 6, 2012 and is a publication of The Windsor Star. For more information, call 519-255-5720.

1812 -2012 3

Mere matter of honour
U.S. invasion met fierce resistance, battled to stalemate
By Karen Paton-Evans
The sun was shining benevolently upon the little settlement of Sandwich on July 12, 1812. In gardens surrounding the cluster of snug homes, fruit grew a mite fuller on the peach and apple trees. Bees gathered nectar from the cheerful flowers, ignoring society’s edict to toil not on Sundays. A whisper on a sudden breeze carried over the Detroit River, its secret too quiet to be overheard. It was a lovely day for an invasion. Weeks prior, on June 18, the American government, under President James Madison, had declared war on Great Britain. As Britain was an ocean away, the nearest target within strategic striking distance was one of its colonies, Canada. The American government’s reasons for going to war were varied. One motivation arose from the long, costly war between Britain and France, fought in Europe and on the high seas. Americans objected to the British Royal Navy’s custom of seizing U.S. ships ostensibly to search for deserting British sailors and then taking American seamen by force to serve in the British navy. The British also seized goods transported on U.S. trading vessels. There were also loose ends and hard feelings left over from the American War of Independence from Britain, the loss of United Empire Loyalists fleeing the U.S. for Canada, and Britain’s refusal to recognize British immigrants living in the U.S. as Americans: to the British government, they were still British subjects. “There were many issues that had never been resolved,” says Trevor Price, retired Professor of Political Science at the University of Windsor, president of the Essex County Historical Society and an author currently writing his next book, focusing on Tecumseh, the War of 1812 and the betrayal of the indigenous peoples of North America. The Americans weren’t the only people with issues. On the American frontier, “the Indians didn’t like Americans because they were always squatting on the Indians’ land,” says Price. Shawnee Chief Tecumseh was crisscrossing North America, trying to unite every tribe into a confederacy that would protect against the future sale of all Indian-held property. “The U.S. had great ambitions,” Price says. Compared to Upper Canada’s population of 77,000, “by 1812, the U.S. had 7 ½ million citizens, with more immigrants pouring in.” The country had been aggressively claiming the west coast and Mexico. “Americans had the idea that Canada was going to be easy to take,” Price observes. This notion was bolstered by former president Thomas Jefferson, who assured the exercise was “a mere matter of marching.” For the estimated 2,500 American soldiers under the command of Brigadier General William

1812: The War that Defined Us

Re-enactors take part in a mock War of 1812 battle at Fort Malden in this Windsor Star file photo.

Hull, the walk was long, up through Ohio and Michigan to the Detroit River. Since the British Royal Navy was patrolling Lake Erie, marching was safer for the cautious American general. “It was a bit of a surprise to the British, I think, that the Americans first chose to attack on the Detroit frontier,” Price remarks. “They decided to attack in the Western District because they thought it was very weak.”

"Americans had the idea that Canada was going to be easy to take."
- Trevor Price
The area was populated predominantly by French families who settled there in the 1700s. There were also Indians, and from the U.S., escaped black slaves and Loyalists faithful to the Crown. Stationed at Fort Amherstburg (later named Malden) was a small contingent of the king’s seasoned soldiers. Landing in Sandwich, Hull of the North Western Army of the United States commandeered the home of his prestigious Canadian friend and now enemy, Colonel Francois Baby. His troops cut down the fruit trees for barricades and firewood and looted the area. That day, full of swagger, Hull

circulated his proclamation to the Inhabitants of Canada, promising, “You will be emancipated from Tyrany [sic] and oppression and restored to the dignified station of freemen.” There was a catch: “If contrary to your own interest, and the just expectation of my Country, you should take part in the approaching contest, you will be considered & treated as enemies, & the horrors & calamities of war will stalk before you. If the barbarous & savage policy of Great Britain be pursued, and the savages are let loose to murder our citizens, & butcher our women and children, the war, will be a war of extermination.” About 500 Canadians deserted their mandatory militia. The American commander’s bravado wavered, however. British troops had retreated strategically to their fort in Amherstburg; Hull, waiting for his canon to arrive, was reluctant to attack. On July 16, he sent troops to reconnoitre Amherstburg. They skirmished with two British soldiers at River Canard, killing one; the Americans captured the bridge but then withdrew. They set out for Amherstburg again on July 19 and 20 but were repelled by the British. Near Turkey Creek on July 25, Indian warriors killed six American soldiers. The casualties had begun.

4 1812 -2012

'Bold leaders'
Canada’s forces were under the command of General Isaac Brock, “a career army officer with experience in battle and a very capable officer,” Price says. Brock had 5,000 trained British troops, plus several thousand civilians who were conscripted to serving in the militia. Tecumseh was the recognized leader of First Nations warriors prepared to fight by the side of the British. “They were both bold, strategic leaders,” Price remarks. The U.S. had greater numbers to press into military service, but they were inexperienced. In the battle between Canada and the U.S., “you had a professional army against a rather amateurish army.” At the outset, luck was on Canada’s side. On July 2, the Cuyahoga, an American supply boat destined for Detroit, carrying soldiers and Hull’s battle plans, was captured on the Detroit River by a handful of Canadians. Hull’s papers were forwarded to Brock, who “detected a rather fearful and dejected general,” says Price. Brock exploited the psychological weakness of his enemy. As soon as war was declared, Brock had started organizing his troops. He gave permission to attack the American Fort Mackinac on Michilimackinac, an island where Lakes Huron and Michigan meet. On July 17, a fur trader led Indian warriors, British soldiers and voyageurs on a takeover mission. The Americans surrendered without a fight. Hull learned of the defeat on July 29. His dread of Indian attack was reinforced on Aug. 5, when Tecumseh led an ambush against an American provision train in Brownstown, Michigan. Another skirmish on Aug. 8 at Maguaga further rattled Hull. With his supply lines cut, he withdrew his troops to Detroit. Meanwhile, Brock and a large military contingent made their way south to Amherstburg, arriving Aug. 13. Brock was pleased to meet his ally, Chief Tecumseh. Realizing American troops far outnumbered the Canadian side, Brock and Tecumseh decided to go on the offensive regardless. Brock sent a message to Hull, calling for his surrender. Hull refused. On Aug. 16, in boats and canoes, 550 soldiers, civilian militia dressed as British troops and 600 First Nation warriors crossed the river and marched on Fort Detroit. Fearing a wholesale massacre by the Indians, “Hull surrendered without firing a shot. He sent his son out with a white flag,” Price says. America was humiliated. Throughout September, Indian attacks on American forts continued; the U.S. captured Gananoque and British schooners. Determined to conquer Canada, American forces under General Henry Harrison crossed the Niagara River to attack Queenston Heights on Oct. 13, 1812. Brock, front and centre in the counterattack, was shot and killed. British forces battled their foes for hours, ultimately overpowering them. General Henry Procter took charge of the Canadian forces. A good leader, “he didn’t have the boldness and charisma of Brock,” Price notes. However, Procter maintained the warfare strategy of British regulars marching formal lines, firing as they advanced. Indian warriors slipped

British General Isaac Brock (left) and Chief Tecumseh were two bold, heroic leaders who died in battle during the War of 1812: Brock in Queenston Heights on Oct. 13, 1812 and Tecumseh in the Battle of Moraviantown (or Thames) on Oct. 5, 1813. Canadian historian Pierre Berton wrote in his 1980 book The American Invasion of Canada that Brock was "the first Canadian war hero" after his death in the Battle of Queenston Heights. As for Tecumseh, Berton wrote in his 1981 book Flames Across the Border: "Elusive in life,Tecumseh remains invisible in death....His followers have spirited him away to a spot where no stranger, be he British or American, will ever find him – his earthly clay, like his own forlorn hope, buried forever in a secret grave."

Heroes of tHe war of 1812

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Windsor River Cruises is featuring historic river cruises to and from the town of Amherstburg aboard the Macassa Bay, Windsor’s premier river boat.. During a picturesque three hour cruise of the Detroit River, passengers can learn about the area’s deep connection to the War Of 1812 The 1812. Battle of Detroit was not only the first major confrontation of the war, but a stunning Canadian victory, one that helped shape the future of the Canada we know today. See Fighting Island, the site of one of Canada’s initial victories. Cruise by many other historical sites including the River Canard, where British troops and Native people stopped the American invasion, and the scene of the first casualties of the war. The boat departs the Riverfront Festival Plaza at 9:00AM arriving in Amherstburg at noon, which was the headquarters of the Right Division of the British Army. After touring the town and its’ many attractions, passengers are returned to Windsor by bus. Alternatively, passengers are bussed to Amherstburg in late morning to explore the town, and sail back to Windsor on the afternoon cruise, departing at 3:00PM and arriving at Festival Plaza at 6:00PM.



519-258-091 for details •www.windsorrivercruises.com 1
1812 -2012 5

Who won the war?
through the woods and swamp to flank Americans from the side and back. “The element of surprise and the vigour of guerilla attack were very offsetting, especially to American militia used to shooting deer, not men,” Price says. “The Americans often fled when the fighting got heavy.” Americans gathered in Frenchtown, Michigan on the River Raisin to protect the settlement against a rumoured British attack. Canadian forces and Indian allies struck on Jan. 22, 1813, capturing or killing Americans. Throughout 1813, territory was won and lost for both sides fighting on land and water. U.S. troops burned York, the capital of Upper Canada, on April 27. They captured the ammunition supply intended for Fort Amherstburg. In the spring of 1813, the British launched another fight from Amherstburg. Tecumseh and 1,200 Indians, 900 British regulars and militia attacked Fort Meigs in Ohio, taking and killing prisoners but not winning the fort. Canadian allied forces tried again in July, without success. Lake Erie was the scene of many tensions. On Sept. 10, the British fleet faced off against the American fleet. “The wind was more favourable to the Americans and they blasted the British ship. The British surrendered. That was a key victory,” Price says. By the end of September, Procter was organizing a retreat of Fort Amherstburg. American troops dogged the departing soldiers destined for Burlington. After Tecumseh’s moving speech asking the British to not abandon his warriors, the Indians helped cover the British retreat, fighting the advancing Americans outnumbering the Canadian

side 3 to 1. A game-changing confrontation occurred at Moraviantown, where Americans killed or captured 600 British soldiers on Oct. 5, 1813. The great Chief Tecumseh was among the dead. “The loss of Tecumseh meant Indian strength in the war really went down,” Price says. The Battle of the Thames gave the U.S. control of southwestern Ontario for the remainder of the war. Battles ensued. “At the beginning of 1814, America was going broke,” says Price. Both American and British soldiers suffering deprivation crossed sides to get paid. Farmers in the Canadian militia returned home to tend their fields. Marching Americans burned Canadian farms and crops, starving civilians and fighters. “That turned many people of American origin back onto the British side,” Price says. Settling an old score, the British burned Washington and its White House on Aug. 24, 1814. Following battles indicated a stalemate. On Christmas Eve, representatives of the British and American governments signed the Treaty of Ghent: “There shall be a firm and universal peace between His Britannic Majesty and the United States, and between their respective countries, territories, cities, towns, and people, of every degree, without exception of places or persons. All hostilities, both by sea and land, shall cease as soon as this treaty shall have been ratified by both parties….” War was finally over. Unfortunately, skirmishes continued till February, when news of the peace treaty’s ratification reached combatants in the field. On Jan. 8, 1815, the British attacked a much smaller contingent of Americans, who repelled the invaders handily. “There the British got a drubbing,” Price says. The last battle gave war-weary Americans new confidence as a nation. So who won the war?

“One of the Americans’ major objectives was to capture Canada,” says Price. “The Americans didn’t win any territory and the British didn’t win any territory. I’d say it was a draw.” British Governor General Prevost and Generals Brock and Drummond all promised the First Nations people they would get their American lands back after war was over. “The British were not able to deliver on that one,” Price says. “The British never got a buffer state; the Americans never got Canada. The Indians were the losers,” he concludes. “It was not a seminal war in shaping the U.S. but it was certainly a seminal war in shaping Canada,” he believes. Before the war, there was not really a Canada. There wasn’t much visible difference between Canadians and Americans, politically or philosophically. The war “demarcated us from Americans and began to give us a national consciousness.” An attitude of tolerance of diversity began to emerge in Canada. Price reflects, “Our motto became Peace, Order and Good Government. Theirs was Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Over time, “I think the Americans forgot about the war. I think we can’t forget because it was a stellar moment in shaping our country.” It would be pleasant to think that conflicts between the neighbouring countries ended in 1815 but that did not prove the case. Price refers to a dispute regarding the border between British Columbia and Oregon that was settled by treaty in 1846, establishing the boundary at the 49th Parallel; and the Americans’ delayed involvement in both World Wars I and II. In the modern era, “We have problems all the time about trade,” Price adds. “Any serious historian is never going to say there has been 200 years of unbroken peace on an undefended border.”

Reflections, as this photographic portrait is called, is a collection of historic artifacts that can be found in Amherstburg, one of the most important areas of battle during the War of 1812.

- Anne Rota: Special to The Star

6 1812 -2012

Dan Loncke leads a guided tour of Olde Sandwich Towne.

Olde Sandwich Towne

“I had no idea of the history attached to places I pass by regularly.” That’s the common reaction of people to local teacher and history enthusiast Dan Loncke ‘s guided walking tour of Olde Sandwich Towne and the accompanying lecture series. The oldest continuously inhabited settlement east of Montreal was a key area during the War of 1812. “The Detroit River Frontier is home to some significant events,” says Loncke. “There on July 12, 1812 was the first time the United States invaded a foreign country. The first casualties of the war occurred there – for the British at the River Canard and for the Americans near Turkey Creek. “This was also where the first looting and burning of private property took place. And August 16, 1812 marked a disastrous day in American history when American territory, Detroit and Michigan Territory, was surrendered to a foreign army.” Loncke tours are consistently sold out. The first dates were held April 27-29 with an overflow date of Sept. 21-22. The April 28 tour followed a Friday evening lecture at Mackenzie Hall which emphasizes the events of the summer of 1812 and autumn of 1813 that took place along the Upper Canadian shore of the Detroit River. Armed with information from the lecture, participants take a short walk through historical Sandwich and have lunch in one of the houses that survived the War of 1812. Then boarding a bus, they visit the sites covered in the lecture from the east side of Windsor to the south side of Amherstburg. “Learning about the major figures of the War of 1812, like Brock and Tecumseh, is fascinating, but discovering the involvement of local places and people in these nation-building events is wonderful,” Loncke says. “Reading and hearing about history cannot compete with the special feeling of standing on the ground where important historical events took place.” Private group tours are available for separate bookings as well as the Sept. 21-22 dates. For more information or to book a tour phone 519-255-7600.
1812 -2012

tour history


Honouring theChief
A tribute to a great warrior and lasting Canadian hero stands along on a winding road in rural Ontario. Its face is marred by signs of neglect, a few incidences of vandalism, and it serves as a poignant reminder of heritage sites that have fallen by the wayside. The current Tecumseh monument is situated on Longwoods Rd just east of Thamesville. The dedicated volunteers working for the Tecumseh re-development project, spearheaded by Friends of the Tecumseh Monument, have worked tirelessly to ensure that the legacy of the monument will be transformed into a site worthy of its namesake. Situated on the edge of the site of the Battle of the Thames where Shawnee Chief Tecumseh was killed in battle, the proposed area will be transformed from the two small and easily missed monuments standing there today to an open air museum which will encompass the whole eight-acre site, and which will interpret the story of the Battle of the Thames and its aftermath, from the perspective of all of its participants and witnesses. The park plans to host a boat-shaped river lookout, historical interpretation panels, a new monument to Tecumseh, as well as another to all the participants. There will also be space for quiet reflection on the sacrifices made in the course of the War of 1812 and the following 200 years of peace between nations. The re-development is expected to cost approximately $4.2 million. “We are in full fundraising mode,” says Lisa Gilbert, chair of Friends of Tecumseh Monument. “We hope to see donors come forward who have a real passion for the legacy of Chief Tecumseh, for the invaluable participation of First Nations in the War of 1812, and for keeping our local history vi“There’s an app for that” has become almost common prose amongst tech-savvy consumers that drive today’s popular culture. But it doesn’t just apply to present-day popular culture. Longstanding local history is also benefiting from technology. The region’s rich War of 1812 history has been virtually transformed with the help of a group of history buffs – and technologically literate – students of the University of Western Ontario’s Master of Arts program in Public History. They have developed a smart phone app for the war. “Digital media is the here and now for teaching and learning about the past,” says Dr. Michael Dove, acting director at the school’s department of history.“The smart phone app will make The War of 1812 accessible to audiences like never before. It offers something for everyone, from the casual tourist to the specialist historian.” Dove, who has acted as a faculty supervisor for the project, shows great pride in not only the quality of his students’ work but also the way that this project has strengthened the bond between the local community and historical research. “This is a remarkable opportunity for our students and for our MA Public History program at Western,” he says.“Students have been able to practice history outside of the classroom and thereby realize the aims of public history; that is embracing community collaboration, civic engagement, and reciprocal learning. Such close working relationships between the university and the extraordinary War of 1812 heritage community of individuals and institutions in place across the southwest region of Ontario provides a valuable model for future partnerships.” The app follows “Route 1812” and “The Tecumseh Parkway,” historic driving routes throughout southwest Ontario that show you the sites, stories and sounds of the War of 1812. Mined from an extensive array of archival materials, this smart phone app combines thorough research and spectacular images, such as the captivating paintings by Windsor artist Peter Rindlisbacher, to give people an in-depth sense of this chapter of the War. It not only enhances our understanding of those more well-known 1812 sites and events, such as Amherstburg and The Battle of the Thames, but also sheds much light on lesser-known stories from the war such as the legendary heroine of London’s Reservoir Hill, Mrs. McNames, the so-called “Laura Secord of London.” The app has also benefitted from its connection to the development of the Tecumseh Parkway, currently running through the Chatham-Kent region and focusing on Chatham’s historical 1812 connection. The parkway has recently received several grants, including one from the Heritage Canada 1812 fund and also the Ontario Trillium Foundation for the development of Peace Gardens along the parkway, which will be planted and maintained by the Kent Military Re-Enactment Society. The app will be launched early summer 2012 and marks the official kick-off of the region’s 1812 events. The War of 1812 app is free and can be searched or downloaded from QR codes on interpretive signage along the route.

Tecumseh Parkway

1812 app avaILaBLe

The existing monument to Tecumseh near Thamesville has fallen victim to neglect and vandalism.

brant for years to come.” The committee’s fundraising platform ranges from as little as $10 up to $100,000 and donors can receive a myriad of benefits, ranging from tax receipts and certificates of appreciation, to a wall of sponsors at the monument site itself. For more information on how to become a part of this project, visit the committee’s newly launched website, at tecumsehmonument.ca

8 1812 -2012

Artists renderings show the proposed new eight-acre site of the Tecumseh Parkway, a $4.2-million project to be located near the site where the great Shawnee Chief Tecumseh was killed in The Battle of the Thames

- Photos courtesy Municipality of Chatham-Kent

Scotiabank is proud to support this Bicentennial Commemoration of the War of 1812.
You define richness, in remembering the efforts of our men and women; we’re just proud to be a part of it.

® Registered trademarks of The Bank of Nova Scotia.

Dr. Trevor Price holds up a portrait of Chief Tecumseh, the great Shawnee chief and subject of a book he’s writing.
- Windsor Star file photo


Chief Tecumseh

By John Humphrey
Tecumseh, chief of the Shawnee and leader of the Indian warriors in the War of 1812, played a significant role before and during the historic conflict with the Americans. Most historians think Tecumseh was born in the spring of 1768 in a Shawnee village near what is now Springfield, Ohio. His father, Puckshinwa, was killed at the Battle of Point Pleasant (in present day West Virginia) in late 1774, during a brief war between the Virginia militia and the Shawnee and other Indian tribes. Tecumseh and his mother, Methotaske, saw Puckshinwa in his last moments of life. It would leave a profound impact on Tecumseh for the rest of his own life. Tecumseh soon matured into a distinguished warrior, eventually rising to become chief of the Shawnee. His keen opposition to the Americans was founded in his concern for his tribe as they continued to be pushed farther west by white settlers. It is widely believed this is when Tecumseh began to participate in the Indian many raids against whites on the frontier. His fierce opposition to the expansion of American settlement was because it conflicted with Tecumseh’s simple yet profound way of thinking when it came to Aboriginal life in North America. “He had the philosophy that the land belonged to all of the Indians,” says Dr. Trevor Price, University of Windsor professor emeritus and past president of the Essex County Historical Society. “And he was speaking not just as the chief of the Shawnee, but on behalf of all Indians.” Tecumseh was particularly against the Indians selling their land to the Americans. “He believed that the Indians should control their own destiny and rule themselves,” adds Price, whose book on Tecumseh’s struggles and the ongoing fate of the North American Indians will be published later this year. “He did not want his people to be ruled by the Americans or British. Tecumseh believed that the Indians had the right to develop their own way of life and culture.” The War of 1812 and the involvement of Indians under the guidance of Tecumseh was clear in its objective, according to Price. The American war aim was to absorb Canada and the British war aim was to prevent that. The British were also fighting the Napoleonic War at that time, Price points out, so they could afford to send a limited number of soldiers to North America.

10 1812 -2012

Commemorative Edition
June 22 Tall Ship Appledore IV-Ship Tours
Location: at Dieppe Park Time: 1pm - 3pm & 4:30pm - 9pm


June 23 1812 Commemorative Events

Saturday 12 noon-5pm Location: Dieppe Park Story Tellers Shaymus, Laura Ingersol Secord, White Pines Dancers, First Nations Drummers, Re-enactors

Marine Battle Re-enactments
Saturday 2-4pm Location: Dieppe Park

Time: 10am Location: Dieppe Park Detroit River Paddle-Canoes, Kayaks, Montreal Canoes and More. Impressive sight not to be missed

June 23 Windsor Canoe and Kayak Club

Time: 8 pm Tickets: $15 Location: Mackenzie Hall, 3277 Sandwich 1812 Songs CD Release Songs, and Stories They make these Songs memorable

June 23 Same Latitude as Rome CD Release

Time: 1pm Location: Dieppe Park Longest running event of it’s kind. Tugs from across Michigan, Ohio, and Ontario. Shore Party with entertainment follows

June 23 36th Annual International Tug Boat Race and Shore Party

Time: 12pm, 2pm, 4pm World Renowned Jet Ski enthusiast Typhoon Tommy and his fellow jetskiers will churn up the river with their tricks and stunts

June 24 Typhoon Tommy Jet Ski Show

June 25 Summer Fest River Front Fireworks Party

Time: 6pm-11pm Location: Detroit Riverfront just west of Plaza Udine White Pines Dancers, Drummers, Nemesis and more will all add to the 1812 commemorative features at this year’s party. Sit down steak dinner and dessert and wine tasting. Cash bar. An event not to be missed. Tickets are $100 per person-call 519-254-2880 or email mrssanta@mnsi.net

At the outbreak of the war, the United States’ population vastly outnumbered what was then Upper Canada (Ontario today). It looked like a mismatch from the outset. “It was clear that the British had to align themselves with the Indians,” says Price. “What they promised the Indians – as a reward for their support – was their own territory.” This would-be territory that the British were promising was significant in size and there was a large reason for its concept. “It was to be a buffer territory which was supposed to border along the Great Lakes, and include

Indian alliance

parts of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and possibly Illinois.” This plan was made by the British before there was any settlement in the United States west of the Mississippi River. The Indians, under the leadership of Tecumseh, realized that it better-suited their own goals as a people to side with the British as the American population was expanding and they would have to fend of this expansion onto their land. The British wanted a buffer state between their own land in Upper and Lower Canada (now Quebec) which would be an Indian state in which the Indians would rule themselves and no whites would be allowed to settle.



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12 1812 -2012

“This was the war promise made to the Indians by the British,” Price points out. “It was brought up in the negotiations of the Treaty of Ghent, which concluded the War of 1812.” However, by the time the War of 1812 ended, the British were tired and did not occupy much land in America, so they did not have much to bargain with when it came to creating the Indian buffer state, Price adds. “The Indians were included in the treaty and the Americans agreed to respect where the Indians lived and to not occupy their lands, but it was really an empty promise on both sides of the border,” Price claims. “Bit by bit, Indian land was eventually taken away.” While many historians consider Tecumseh’s involvement in the War of 1812 to be his greatest accomplishment, that wasn’t necessarily the case according to Price. Tecumseh’s greatest achievement was actually his attempt to create an Indian confederacy. “His first major battle was at the Battle of Fallen Timbers when the Indians fell apart and retreated and it was felt that everything was lost,” Price says. “From that point on it was Tecumseh’s mission to unite all Indians from the Gulf of Mexico up to the Great Lakes to create an army that could fight the Americans. American General William Henry Harrison, who was the Governor of the Indiana Territory, emphatically informed Tecumseh that any native battle against the Americans was futile at best due to the sheer size of the American population. “Tecumseh realized that the Indians could not do a lot against the American all by themselves,” says Price. “They needed weapons, supplies of food and they needed the alliance of the British so they would be capable of attacking the fortified positions of the Americans.” In 1810 Tecumseh visited Fort Malden and offered his support to the British if the war that was festering against the American should break out. This relationship between the Indians and the British was facilitated by British servicemen who served as ‘Indian agents’. While its army in Canada was significantly smaller than that of the Americans, the British were professional fighters while the American forces were comprised primarily of a part-time militia. Many American officers, like General Hull, were Revolutionary War officers and were well past their prime, according to Price. “The British didn’t have as many soldiers, but their leadership – people like General Isaac Brock and General Drummond – was spectacular,” he says. “They could do a lot with a little.” Tecumseh enjoyed a well-earned stellar reputation not only within the Indian nations and the British, but even with the American enemy. “He wasn’t vindictive and he wasn’t vengeful,” says Price. “He was renowned for his fair treatment of everyone, and he did not believe in torturing enemy prisoners of war.” Tecumseh’s relationship with General Brock was based on mutual respect. They both recognized each other as exceptional leaders. The pair worked together to formulate the plan to lay siege to Fort Detroit. “Both Tecumseh and Brock understood the psychology of war,” Price says. “Their plan to capture Detroit was absolutely brilliant.” The Americans wanted no part of fighting the

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Indians on the battlefield, and elsewhere. “The Americans didn’t like the way the Indians fought and they were scared of the Indians. The Indians did not engage in orthodox warfare. They didn’t line up and shoot volleys; they fought in the woods and from behind rocks,” Price says. “The Indians also liked to ambush the enemy at night.” Man-for-man, the Indians were much stronger fighters than the Americans. “This was unless the Americans were in a fortified position,” Price says. “The Indians didn’t have ladders and artillery and they could not get through the walls of a fort unless they received these supplies from the British.” The siege of Fort Detroit began on August 15, 1812 after Hull refused to surrender and the British started their artillery barrage. Inside Fort Detroit, Hull’s intense fear of coming under Indian attack was realized when approximately 500 of Tecumseh’s alliance of warriors crossed the Detroit River in the middle of the night and surrounded the fort. On the morning of August 16, the Americans realized that Tecumseh’s warriors and 700 of Brock’s troops were advancing towards their position. These movements by Tecumseh’s warriors and the British were supported from across the Detroit River by British cannons and guns that were firing a deadly stream of fire into Fort Detroit. The war cries of Tecumseh’s warriors filled the

air and served to intensify the terror of Hull, who soon surrendered without a fight. However, Tecumseh’s relationship with British General Henry Procter wasn’t as congenial as Procter wasn’t always forthcoming and open with the Indian leader. “Procter viewed the Indians, including Tecumseh, as inferior people,” Price says. “Procter thought it was appropriate to use Indians during opportune times, but he thought the Indians could not be trusted or confided in.” Tecumseh’s greatest feat was his attempt to unite the various Indian nations, but that objective was gradually undermined as the Americans, particularly General Harrison, made clandestine deals with individual chiefs to acquire Indian land piece by piece. “The Americans employed a divide-and-conquer strategy,” Price says. “The Indians could be bribed and bought.” This was particularly the case when it came to older chiefs who had become weary of fighting the Americans. Tecumseh’s weakness was the reality that while the warriors of the various Indian tribes supported him greatly, many of the older chiefs did not. “Even in his own tribe, there was a serious split. If Tecumseh had been able to unite the Indians and if the British had done better in the War of 1812, the story of the Indians would have been much different not only back then but today.” These sentiments, coincidentally, provide the foundation of Price’s upcoming book. Tecumseh was never elected chief of the Shawnee nor was he appointed leader of the Indians by

the British. He was recognized by his fellow Indians because of his extraordinary abilities. He was a tremendous fighter and could understand and readily explain even the most intricate of situations to his people. “Tecumseh was an amazing orator. He could motivate and rouse the various Indian tribes in their own native languages.” After the Americans defeated the British in the naval Battle of Lake Erie, supplies were cut off to Fort Malden and the British under Procter and Indians made an ill-advised retreat before engaging the American in the Battle of the Thames near Moraviantown, where Tecumseh was killed in action. Tecumseh’s body was never recovered or positively identified, although stories have circulated for two centuries that it was recovered by Indian warriors and buried on Walpole Island or transported to Kentucky where it was never positively identified. “As a teenager Tecumseh was riding a horse and it flipped him off and he broke his thigh-bone,” Price claimed. “While it did heal, there would still be evidence of that injury if his bones were found today. “There has never been any such discovery.” It has long been the belief of Price and some historians that Tecumseh’s body was buried in a common grave, along with bodies of other Indians, British and Americans from the Battle of the Thames. That field has long since been plowed over by a farmer and while bones were discovered, no positive of Tecumseh’s body has ever been made.

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Community Partners Making A Community Difference

Local 444 of the Canadian Auto Workers Union representing 17,500 active and retired members at multiple workplaces throughout Windsor and Essex County are honoured to have this opportunity to be part of the celebration recognizing that the War of 1812 was a defining moment in our rich, proud and true Canadian history.

14 1812 -2012

War folklore has it that the Shawnee leader Tecumseh,“one of the great military minds of all time” according to Stephen Marche writing in The Walrus magazine's March issue, marched his men around and around Fort Detroit August 16, 1812, making his force appear much larger than it was. The ruse scared American Brigadier General William Hull who “liquored up and neglected his troops” leading to their desertion and the surrender of the fort to the vastly outnumbered Canadians. However, the Canadian Encyclopedia says the story “lacks real evidence.” According to South West 1812’s website (www.1812 ontario.ca), this was part of several ruses. The troops lit individual fires instead of one per unit, again to give the illusion of a much larger army, and marched up to take positions in plain sight of the Americans then quickly ducked behind the entrenchments and repeated the manoeuvre, again to feign larger numbers. The troops pulled the same trick by circling meal lines. William Hull Marche's pen is particularly sharp in his assessment of Hull. Writing about his decision to cross the border from Detroit and take the undefended settlement of Sandwich July 12, 1812, he said the American leader made "one of the most important pronouncements in Canadian history" when he declared: "No white man found fighting by the side of an Indian will be taken prisoner. Instant destruction will be his lot." The blunder, in Marche's estimation, backfired as almost every Canadian militiaman and British regular served alongside Aboriginal allies and resolved to fight the Americans. “William Hull ineffectually assaulted a disparate group of people,” Marche wrote.“He left behind a cohesive, distinct Canadian community.”

Tecumseh, Brock stamps


Peter Rindlisbacher June 12 – July 8

The great Shawnee leader Tecumseh is being honoured with a variety of War of 1812 bicentennial events this summer. “The area that is now the Town of Tecumseh did not see as much action as many other local areas during the War of 1812, but we have worked hard to come up with events that will help our residents and other from across the county celebrate its bicentennial,” offers Kerri Rice, manager of recreation programs and events for the town. “We have events that will appeal to our residents and visitors to the region alike.” The official launch of a Canada Post stamp is perhaps the biggest event that will be held in Tecumseh, while other events include the launching of a musical CD about the War of 1812, the opening of a garden and an international road trip to a play about the native leader. While the stamp honouring Tecumseh will actually be released June 15, its official launch is being held at the Tecumseh Area Historical Society June 21. Tecumseh Mayor Garry McNamara and Canada Post officials will take part in the festivities. “We thought it was a wonderful idea to celebrate National Aboriginal Day (June 21) by hosting the official launch of the stamp honouring the great Shawnee leader Tecumseh,” Rice says. “There couldn’t be a better time or place.” The Tecumseh stamp is actually part of a two-part set being issued by Canada Post. British General Isaac Brock, a staunch ally of Tecumseh, is also depicted. This twostamp issue shows profiles of the two men face to face. The Tecumseh stamp exhibits the Shawnee leader with native encampments scattered around him, indicating that more than one tribe has taken to arms under his command. The rendering of the native leader was a challenge. “There are no known photos of Tecumseh in existence, so we had to do our due diligence,” offers Jim Phillips, manager of stamp services for Canada Post. “We consulted with First Nations organizations and historians and museums in both Canada and the United States and we believe we have come up with the best likeness there has ever been of him. “We have re-created Tecumseh.” The official release date of June 15 of the Tecumseh and Brock stamps comes before a key anniversary date of the War of 1812.“The Americans declared war on the British on June 18 to start the conflict,” Phillips says. Canada Post will be adding to its War of 1812 series in 2013 with stamps honouring Charles de Salaberry and Laura Secord. The Tecumseh Area Historical Society is also holding an event – the opening of the 1812 Peace Garden – at 12350 Tecumseh Road East .“It’s going to be a special day for the society’s volunteers,” says Rice.“A lot of time and effort has gone into making a garden that is going to be enjoyed by our residents and other visitors for years to come.” Tecumseh Town Council and its War of 1812 Committee will be leading an overnight bus trip on June 21 to the birthplace of the Shawnee leader in Chillicothe, Ohio to experience the spectacular outdoor drama, Tecumseh! Showgoers attending the huge, outdoor stages of the Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheatre will be treated to a unique viewing experience that includes a herd of galloping horses and live military cannons in action. The Windsor Regional Writers Group also performed Reflections on 1812, an original music tribute to the War of 1812 at l’Essor in May. For more information of War of 1812 bicentennial celebrations in Tecumseh visit tecumseh.ca

canada post honours heroes

1812 BICENTENNIAL Association of Representational Artists July 10 – August 12

by the river
August 25 & 26 10-5 Fort Malden NHSC WAR & PEACE: A MEMBERS SHOW August 14- September 9 DAYS GONE BY: Cecile Villemaire September 13 – October 7 TREES-THREADWORKS 2010 Elgin County Museum needlework exhibit October 11-November 18 GALLERY HOURS: 11am-5pm Thursday-Sunday Extended days Tuesday-Sunday during June-August

Admission is free-donations appreciated.

Visit our artisans’ gift shoppe for unique gift ideas!

The end of the War marked the beginning of two centuries of peaceful relations, close cooperation and friendship between Canada and the United States.

As we mark the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812, Essex County Council commemorates the historical significance of this War to our region. We are Canada’s southernmost county and busiest international crossing for tourism and trade. We are one of the most agriculturally productive counties in the country, supplying our bounty both domestically and to markets around the world. It is because of the brave Aboriginal peoples, local and volunteer militias, and English and French-speaking regiments who defended this region during the War of 1812 that we are able to enjoy a region rich in historical significance, ethnic tradition and vibrant communities.... a region of indomitable spirit and rebirth, a region open to the lessons of the past and the promises of the future.

- John Humphrey

1812 -2012 15


Roots to Boots

singer headlines war of 1812 fest
By Anna Cabrera Cristofaro
Chantal Kreviazuk excuses herself to answer the front door. The postman is standing on the doorstep with package in hand, slowly attempting to read the foreign last name on the packing slip. “Package for ‘Kra-zuh-zook?’” “Oh my God,” Kreviazuk whispers, giggling, into the phone. “I’m always curious to see how they’ll try to say my name. I’ve never heard that one before.” This is Chantal Kreviazuk. Unaffected, unpretentious, and despite the halo of dark hair framing an almost ethereally beautiful face, perhaps even somewhat ordinary. But Kreviazuk is far from ordinary. Hers is a voice that has found a place on radio, on stages around the world, and screens big and small. Her music has appeared in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Dawson’s Creek, Serendipity and perhaps most famously, Armageddon, in which she performed a cover of John Denver’s Leaving on a Jet Plane. This summer, that face, and that voice, will be ours for an evening when Kreviazuk performs at the Roots to Boots Festival’s Fort Malden Rocks concert. Born in Winnipeg, Kreviazuk’s musical talents were revealed early. At age three, she began to play the piano by ear. Her mother, Carol, eagerly encouraged young Chantal. At age 19, Kreviazuk’s world came crashing down when she was involved in a serious automobile accident in Italy in 1994. The young musician’s jaw was shattered. With four plates and 16 screws to help rebuild her face, doctors questioned whether or not Kreviazuk would ever be able to sing again. “My mother was furious,” she recalls during a recent phone interview from her home in Los Angeles. “She said, ‘Of course she’s going to sing again!’” Whether it was her mother’s support or her own steel will, Kreviazuk defied all odds and would indeed sing again. In 1996, a mere two years after the accident that nearly claimed her life, she was signed to Sony Canada. Her critically acclaimed debut album, Under These Rocks and Stones, was released later that year. Her second single, Surrounded, a heart-wrenching mid-tempo ballad about the suicide of someone she calls “her dear, dear friend” catapulted Kreviazuk to stardom. Today, with husband and Our Lady Peace lead singer Raine Maida away on tour, and all three kids out of the home, Kreviazuk’s day will be dedicated to working on her next album, an experience she admits is completely different from previous practice. “I’m writing it at home with earphones, at the piano. There are no tricks, no influence by anything or anyone. I’m getting in the zone, and I’m like, ‘Here you are. Let it happen. Don’t be so precious.’” While Kreviazuk admits that she still sometimes seeks Maida’s advice and opinion, this is a journey she’s taking joyfully – albeit fearfully – on her own. “When you’re writing, sometimes things get pretty complicated pretty fast. This is a huge exercise in discipline for me. There’s something so scary

Chantal Kreviazuk, shown here performing at the Chrysler Theatre in Windsor in 2007, will headline a War of 1812 Roots to Boots concert in Amherstburg Saturday, Aug. 4.

- Windsor Star file photo

Chantal's Spirit
Amherstburg celebrAtes its history, beAuty
Historic sites, an important ship building port along the waterfront and Fort Malden National Historic Site. Places that stand the time to commemorate a period when the destiny of Canada was determined by the War of 1812. Amherstburg, the centre of many fronts, strategies and alliances, was instrumental in defending Canadian territory during the War of 1812. The town was the headquarters of the Right Division of the British Army during that important time period. All military and naval actions of the war in the Detroit River Region were administered from Fort Amherstburg, later known as Fort Malden. Because it was the military base for the region, Amherstburg may claim participation in virtually all the conflicts that occurred in this area. The town may also claim two great leaders of the War of 1812: Brock and Tecumseh. On August 13, 1812 Major-General Isaac Brock took command of Amherstburg. The famous meeting of General Brock and Chief Tecumseh took place at Matthew Elliott’s just below Amherstburg and an Anglo/First Nations Alliance was made. Today, the King’s Navy Yard Park’s 10.5 acres is a footprint of the prior Navy Yard dating 1796. This site was responsible for the construction of several Provincial War Ships that fought in the War of 1812. It’s part of waterfront property that is rich in history and superb, award-winning gardens. It has been recognized as a Bicentennial Art of Peace Garden. It honours those who have fallen in war, recognize the importance of the land as a naval yard, commemorate the battles fought in the area and cherishes the peace that resulted from those efforts. Significant water crafts built in King’s Navy Yard include: the Camden, General Hope, General Hunter, Francis, Maria, Queen Charlotte Queen, Lady Prevost, Detroit, Eliza and the General Myers. The riverfront property was also used for rope making. At times sailors would span the entire town for stretching and producing the rope, often referring to the process as the sympathetic “rope walk”. Over 200 years Some key events at what is now old, Amherstburg is King’s Navy Yard Park during War one of the oldest and of 1812: prettiest communities • July 2, 1812: Provincial Marine in Ontario. Steeped from Fort Amherstburg capture in rich history with a American schooner Cuyahoga fascinating past, the • July 12, 1812: U.S. army events that took place invades Canada from Detroit along the shoreline at • Aug. 16, 1812: Gen. Brock and the mouth of Lake Erie Chief Tecumseh form an alliance were pivotal in shaping and capture Detroit the destiny of Canada • Sept. 10, 1813: Battle of Lake as we know it today - a Erie. The largest sea battle fought free country with the on the Great Lakes, the U.S. privilege of sharing the fleet defeats the British fleet on longest undefended Lake Erie border with the United • September 1813: As a result States of America. of the Battle of Lake Erie, the This summer, AmBritish evacuate Amherstburg and herstburg celebrates its the Detroit Frontier Roots to Boots Bicen• July 1, 1815: British regain tennial Festival August control of Fort Amherstburg 3-5. It promises visitors will be immersed in history in a charming town that’s proud to share its commemoration of the War of 1812. Visit 1812 amherstburg.com for schedule of events and show times.

16 1812 -2012

'Native blood'
about writing an album, so my challenge right now is to do a lot more allowing in, to enjoy the process and let the fear in.” If Kreviazuk sounds spiritual, it’s because she is. It’s a personality trait she attributes to her native heritage. Her great-grandmother was of aboriginal background. She was described in an 1870 census as a “half-breed,” a term a librarian once assured Kreviazuk meant Metis. The singer’s roots actually go further back; her Cree ancestry worked the fur trade at the beginning of the Hudson’s Bay Company. “We knew we were native, but it was such a bizarre layer,” says Kreviazuk, whose background makes her a perfect fit for the concert celebrating the War of 1812, an epic battle that involved an important coalition between British soldiers and native allies. “We had a very ambiguous consciousness to it. It was very matter of fact,” she says. “I’m eastern European and native – sometimes I get so fired up, but then I also have this extremely tree-hugging, granola, spiritual side to me, one that gets all these wild energetic experiences,” she explains. “I’ve discovered it’s such a strong energy, having native blood.” At this point in the interview, a little voice sings in the background, greeting his mother with glee after only an hour apart. Kreviazuk’s youngest, threeyear-old Salvador, has returned home with her assistant from a trip to the vet, where their beloved Small Munsterlander has been examined for allergies. “We needed a hypoallergenic breed because of Raine’s allergies,” Kreviazuk says, giggling. “Go figure it’s the dog with allergies. Poor thing.” “There’s so much, isn’t there?” Kreviazuk sighs; her tone is serious. It’s unclear yet whether she’s still referring to her pet’s ordeal, or if she’s mulling over something deeper. “As a parent, if you haven’t seen something, you go, ‘Oh my God.’ My greatest frustration is that I’m doing so much that I’m not fabulous at one thing. I can be a better performer, mother, writer, wife.” So says the prolific songwriter, Juno nominee and Garnier spokesperson. “But I count my blessings,” says Kreviazuk, ever modest and clearly aware of her good fortune. “I’m the luckiest girl in the world. I have a great husband, which is number one – your partner is your healer, and in some ways, your child. Raine and I recognize areas in which we can grow, and we push each other to grow, and I am so grateful for that.” Who says one can’t be rooted and fly all at once? Kreviazuk – a model to all mothers, songwriters, and dreamers everywhere – proves every day that that is, indeed, possible. Chantal Kreviazuk performs at the Roots to Boots Festival’s Fort Malden Rocks event Saturday, Aug. 4, 8 p.m. For tickets or more information, call Gordon House at 519-730-1309.

Learn more about the War of 1812 in these informative books, all recently reprinted from the classics THE STORY OF ISAAC BROCK [by Walter Nursey] ONTARIO AND DETROIT FRONTIER 1701 - 1814 [by Hugh Cowan] THE STORY OF TECUMSEH [by Norman S. Gurd] SOUVENIRS OF THE PAST [by William Lewis Baby]
All available at t

1812 -2012 17

Read Read

181 2


Books Bought and Sold

Also available at Juniper: Many other titl b th A i Hi t P /U C d able t Juniper: Many oth titles by the American His Press/Upper Canada b i t History www.americanhistorypress.com and other War of 1812/Lo History books s.com 1812/Local 1990 Ottawa Street, Windsor 519-258-4111 1-866-548-4111 www.juniperbooks.ca

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Playing on history
By Anna Cabrera Cristofaro
Several months ago, local director John Nabben was approached by Anne Rota, Amherstburg’s manager of tourism and culture, for a once-in-alifetime opportunity. “Anne felt there was an opportunity to showcase Amherstburg and the history related to the War of 1812 through an unconventional way – a theatrical performance,” says Nabben. “Often for these kinds of events, you see sculptures or an important piece, like a painting. “But what she wanted was a production that would open up the bicentennial festivities, one that would be specific to the history relating to Fort Malden, Amherstburg, and that entire area.” Nabben, who recently directed Walkerville Centre for the Creative Art’s Phantom of the Opera, excitedly embraced the idea. He gathered together a team, including co-writer John Conlon, scenic and visual artist Lorraine Zonjic and orchestrator Ian Smith, for a brainstorming event. Although the group’s members have extensive experience in local theatre, this kind of production – one that would have to be historically accurate, and which would have to be written, scored and orchestrated from scratch – was new to them. “We met and wondered, ‘How does something like this work?’” remembers Nabben. “How do you go about putting together a musical production on content like this?” The group met over a gruelling six days. With only a few but firm instructions from Rota, including the direction that the show had to be performed outside on Fort Malden grounds, Nabben and his team decided “not to stress over the historical elements, like Chief Tecumseh standing in this spot and saying these three words, that kind of thing,” Nabben explains. “We wanted, instead, to play on the idea of what took place – that there was a militia that formed, and everyone worked together to ensure their land was protected. “What we realized was that we’re looking for a Canadian version of Les Miserables,” says Nabben. “It has to be powerful, it has to speak to the people, and it can’t be one of those shows where some guy just gets up and says, ‘Hi, I’m General Brock,’ or ‘Hi, I’m Chief Tecumseh.’ “In two hours, you cannot provide a factual portrayal. But what you can do is capture themes that will captivate a general audience. We wanted to get away from those names and faces attached to the War of 1812 and instead focus on the backstories.” With an anthem and a general theme re-appearing throughout the score, the group had to next decide on a name. “The government is using 1812 to identify our nation,” says Nabben. “Although it’s a war brimming with controversy – some of our American friends might claim it never even happened – it certainly defined us. And it’s an opportunity today to explore different cultures, because we’re dealing with French, British, American and native history… and all those stories are nicely rooted in this big moment. “That translates well to a modern audience, and that helped us get to the name. We called it Spirit of a Nation. The word spirit speaks to the old, the ghosts, the history… but it also speaks to what’s inside you. The goals, the dreams, the energy, the passion that everyone can relate to.” When it came to the songs, the composers decided to use solemn, Celtic sounds and utilized drums throughout the orchestration to pay homage to the both our military and native heroes. And the book, which Nabben and his team cowrote, contains “very female-centered themes, because their stories often aren’t told,” says Nabben, who consulted with War of 1812 experts to really understand the characters he was creating. “We never want to neglect the fact that women too were on the front line, fighting different wars. Besides Laura Secord, we haven’t spent enough energy providing them with a voice.”

Spirit of a Nation

"This is for a society, a community, an entire province to watch."
- John Nabben
The show, which will open the War of 1812 festivities in Amherstburg this summer, will be performed entirely by students, a decision Nabben says was well thought out. “Students are not only ambitious and resilient, they’re learning this stuff every day. Who better to bring the textbook to life?” Nabben admits nerves are high. “This is not a musical we’re writing for the fun for it, or for entertainment’s sake, or some social statement we want to make,” he says. “This is for a society, a community, an entire province to watch. This is for all of us to relate to a part of our heritage. It’s what made our country what it is today. “This musical,” he continues, “has to capture the emotion and the spirit and the feeling of that time costumes and set and music. For everyone involved, from the writers to the actors to the audience members, it becomes part of a personal journey.” Spirit of the Nation will premiere Friday, Aug. 3 at 7:30 p.m. at Amherstburg’s Roots to Boots festival. Visit amherstburg1812.com for details.
John Nabben, who is directing the War of 1812 original music Spirit of the Nation, is shown here in various dramatic poses.

18 1812 -2012

- Anna Cabrera Cristofaro photo

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In Pursuit of the Golden Key


in a


In Pursuit of the Golden Key, a War of 1812 story, attracted interested visitors at the Art Gallery of Windsor May 3 (below). Bottom, authors and artists Steve Gibb (left) and Dennis White were on hand at the opening.
- Ed Goodfellow Key photo: Phyllis Chant

By Anna Cabrera Cristofaro
When was the last time you were offered $10,000 for solving a riddle? In Pursuit of the Golden Key, written by Amherstburg-based artist Dennis White and co-illustrated by Steve Gibb, is the story of a forbidden love affair between a native princess and a young Scottish immigrant, set during the War of 1812. While the love affair is fictional, the events are based on fact. And while the story in itself is captivating, there’s something else that makes the book so engaging. It’s also a story rife with clues and puzzle pieces, all of which lead the reader to real-life treasure: a golden key and a cash prize of $10,000. The response to the book, which was quietly released in March 2012 to the Gibson Gallery, Mudpuppy Gallery, the tourist information centre in Amherstburg and Chapters in Windsor, has been tremendous, says Gibb. “The plan had been to have it ready for the events of the summer,” says Gibb. “But it’s already gaining attention.” In early March, the original artwork that appears in the book was exhibited at the Gibson Gallery; Bonnie Deslippe, a member of the gallery’s board of directors, says the response was overwhelming. “It was a particularly interesting exhibit for us, because you not only had art enthusiasts, you had families, you had 1812 aficionados. We had people there who were interested in the art aspect. We had people there who were interested in the treasure aspect,” she says. “Typically, if a person really is enjoying an exhibit, he or she will stay an hour, at most. For this exhibit, we’ve had people spend hours, an entire afternoon,” Deslippe adds. “That speaks to how significant this work is.” Inspired by a British treasure hunt book written in the 1970s, White first developed the idea to write a book about the War of 1812. At first, his main focus was to simply draw attention – and visitors – to the town of Amherstburg. “I wanted folks to actually come here, to see the town, to see where soldiers fell, where we won what was an astoundingly important war,” explains White, whose original idea was that to solve the riddle, one had to physically visit the town of Amherstburg and scour its streets and landscapes. “But then I thought, ‘I don’t want to exclude anyone who can’t come to town.’” Adds Gibb: “You can certainly come to Amherstburg and look for the clues in person. But you can solve the riddle even if you’re sitting in an arm chair in Japan.” To learn more about In Pursuit of the Golden Key, visit whitegibberish.com

20 1812 -2012

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The Reynolds

A tale of spinster sisters
- Courtesy Fort Malden National Historic Site

Margaret Reynolds painted this “A View of Amherstburg, 1813,” Below: A portrait of her younger sister, Catherine.

margaret, catherine reynolds a creative force
It is a story worthy of Jane Austen’s pen. Synopsis: Margaret, the elder Miss Reynolds, and her sister, Miss Catherine, are the daughters of British Army officer Thomas Reynolds of Scotland. Along with their brothers, the Misses Reynolds live first in Fort Detroit in what was then part of Upper Canada, until 1796, after Britain surrenders Detroit to the American government and moves the British garrison to Fort
In the months leading up to the War of 1812, artist Catherine Reynolds depicted a calm, orderly world. Her surviving paintings reveal charming views of the countryside and faithful representations of European paintings copied from books. Judging by her art, the member of a powerful military family was seemingly untroubled by mounting hostilities. The imperturbability of the genteel outward appearance that Catherine presented in her paintings belies the true woman behind the façade – a pretty screen that also concealed her elder sister, Margaret. For both sisters were artists of such significance that their combined works are now in the Art Gallery of Windsor, the Detroit Institute of Arts,

By Karen Paton-Evans

Amherstburg (Malden) on the Canadian side of the Detroit River. Thomas is Commissary for Fort Amherstburg; his son, Robert, eventually takes over, becoming Deputy Assistant Commissary General to the British troops during the War of 1812. Throughout the years of political strife and military action, the two spinster sisters quietly observe and paint within their close family circle.
Fort Malden, McCord Museum at McGill University, Hiram Walker Historical Museum – Windsor Community Museum and private collections. “All the paintings were originally attributed to Catherine but as scholarship goes on, it is evident Margaret also painted,” says Robert Honor, a former interpreter at Fort Malden. Approximately 15 years ago, “A View of Amherstburg, 1813” was cleaned, bringing to light the true artist. “You can see Margaret’s signature very clearly.”  Catherine’s most remarkable talents were kept secret. Research has revealed Catherine was a capable draftswoman and possibly Canada’s first female


22 1812 -2012

Bellevue House, the Amherstburg villa that was designed by Catherine Reynolds for her brother Robert, who was deputy assistant commisary general to the British troops during the War of 1812, still stands on Dalhousie Street. Below, a plaque explains the historical signfiicance of the building. Opposite: Christ Church Anglican, which she may have also created, is where Catherine is buried, along with Robert. - Anna Cabrera Cristofaro photos

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architect, designing a magnificent local church as well as a dignified Amherstburg residence that outshone any other in Canada at that time. How could such accomplishments go unnoticed? In the late 1700s and early 1800s, gently bred young ladies of British lineage would be educated in womanly subjects such as French, music and dance and encouraged to attain proficiency as a pleasing singer or a player on the pianoforte. The young lady might take up painting and flower arranging. She was not to earn her living by her talent nor push herself forward in a vulgar grasping for fame. Her modest abilities were to amuse her friends and add refinement to the family establishment. Like Jane Austen, born in 1775 in England, this was the style of society in which Margaret and Catherine Reynolds lived, for the niceties were observed even in the rough and ready settlement straddling the Detroit River. Margaret was born in Scotland in 1765 and with her family, journeyed to Upper Canada. Likely in 1782, Catherine was born in British-occupied Detroit, making her “probably the first woman native born painter,” says Honor. The Reynolds enjoyed more stability than most military families. Thomas’ staff position meant “he didn’t come and go with the infantry,” Honor notes. Rather than following the drum, the Reynolds settled down to an upper class lifestyle, expanding their wealth with fur trading on the side. Eventually, through marriage, the Reynolds became connected with the illustrious, prosperous McGills of Montreal. “The Reynolds family didn’t get married a lot or if they did, they didn’t have many kids or the kids didn’t live long,” Honor says. Of Robert’s five children, only one survived to adulthood. Unencumbered by husbands and children of their own, Catherine and Margaret pursued their interests. “It appears both of them were painting,” Honor says. Neither was artistically trained. Whereas a young man of means with artistic leanings would do a grand tour of Europe, the Reynolds sisters “never seemed to go anywhere.” Instead, they borrowed books from other officers and neighbours in community, furnishing Catherine in particular with an appreciation for classic paintings and architecture. R. Alan Douglas, author of Uppermost Canada: the Western District and the Detroit Frontier, 1800-1850, notes: “To the officer class, the military life was good. It was comparatively easy.... and its social events provided opportunities for flirtations not easily available to others. Teaching topographical sketching and perspective drawing,

Gently bred

24 1812 -2012

for example, part of young officers’ training, must have been seen as a way to the hearts of Margaret and Catherine, the eligible daughters of Thomas Reynolds....Such courting campaigns might well have given rise to the surviving body of ink-andwash drawings of European architectural subjects rendered in one-point perspective, as well as views of Amherstburg.” Working in watercolours, pencil, crayon and sepia wash, the Reynolds sisters captured glimpses of society along the Detroit River and Lake Erie’s North Shore. During the momentous year of 1812, the easy life of the British officers was no more. The Reynolds sisters would have managed the family home while Robert oversaw colossal arrangements for feeding and equipping British infantryman arriving at Fort Amherstburg. That same year, across the pond, Jane Austen prepared and sold Pride & Prejudice for publication while worrying about the safety of her brothers Francis and Charles, serving in the British Royal Navy. (Francis eventually became the Commander in Chief of The North American and West Indian fleet, giving him experience of Americans. He believed the women flippant and lacking his sister Jane’s culture). In September 1813, the British Royal Navy was defeated by the United States Navy on Lake Erie. With their cannons lost and supply lines cut, the British burned their own fort in Amherstburg and retreated to Burlington. There, Catherine found another subject, painting “Chief Joseph Brant’s House, Burlington”. After the war was over in July 1815, the British army, including the Reynolds, returned to Amherstburg to rebuild. “The whole area is devastated by war,” Honor says. “The Reynolds are pouring money into the community and are showing tremendous optimism.”

The first major indication of the Reynolds’ confidence in the region was the building of Bellevue, Robert’s impressive white villa on eight acres at the edge of the Detroit River. A surviving pen and pencil rendering of the Bellevue’s front elevation is signed by Catherine. It is not a sketch of the actual house drawn after construction. “It’s a design of what the house should be,” Honor says. In the tradition of the manor houses that Catherine copied from books, “Bellevue is a classic Palladian villa, something you’d see in the country in Ireland or England,” Honor observes. “It fits that if she was designing this house for her family, this is the style she’d pick up on.” Constructed between 1816 and 1819 in a grove of mature pine trees, Bellevue was a marvel to behold. “It was the most prominent residence in Upper Canada. There was nothing in Toronto to match it.” During this happy episode, the Reynolds family were likely unaffected by the death of an anonymous English novelist in 1817; Jane Austen’s identity was revealed by her brother posthumously. Robert opened his home to Catherine and Margaret. Eventually, their brother Ebenezer moved in. His own Colchester residence, Stowe, was also cap-

tured on Catherine’s canvas. Another of Catherine’s possible creations is Christ Church in Amherstburg. Robert provided brick for its construction, perhaps building materials left over from Bellevue. In the classic proportions and Palladian features, “the suggestion would be Catherine probably had a hand in the design of the church as well,” Honor says. She and Robert were buried there, not far from their beloved Bellevue, after their deaths in 1864 and 1865. “The first woman architect in Canada was recognized in 1927,” Honor says. In Catherine Reynolds, “here is a woman who designed a significant house in 1816. She was way ahead of her time.” Bellevue still stands today. Since the Reynolds’ reign, the residence has served as a private home, a veterans’ hospital and a church. Since 2001, it has been owned by a numbered corporation. Although declared a National Historic Site in 1959, the grand dame is sadly neglected and deteriorating. Interest in the artwork of the Misses Reynolds has increased with 1812 commemorations. From July 30 to September 2, the Art Gallery of Windsor’s exhibit, Two Women’s Views of the War of 1812, will show selected artworks of Catherine Reynolds and 20th century artist Joyce Wieland.  Perhaps Margaret and Catherine would have empathized with Jane Austen, concealing her creative abilities from anyone outside the family. It appears, at least, the Misses Reynolds shared the good fortune of Miss Austen in having brothers who valued their talent. To learn more about the Friends of Bellevue's efforts to save Bellevue, visit bellevueamherstburg.com.

Celebrating 200 Years of Friendship
Gallery Without Walls
rt in our townscape makes for a fun day of touring by car, bicycle or even on foot to enjoy all of the hand-painted street pole banners by local artists of all ages! Banners are displayed June through October.
is the theme for this year’s


is an initiative of the Tecumseh BIA. For more information call 519.735.3795 or visit www.tecumsehbia.com

Gallery Without Walls

Transit Windsor is proud to be part of a community with such a rich historical background – and would like to salute the region which played an integral role in shaping our identity as Canadians. Wherever the future takes us, we’re glad to be along for the ride!

For information on Transit Windsor’s fare structure, passes and ticket options visit TWfares.ca or call 519.944.4111

Peter Rindlisbacher

THe fine

By Claudio D’Andrea




Peter Rindlisbacher, an Amherstburg resident and marine artist considered “a genius” by one leading historian and the best in his craft by another, has been painting battle scenes since the late 1980s in a relatively quiet, solitary way. With the War of 1812 bicentennial, however, interest in his work has exploded. “I felt like a cockroach working in the dark and all of a sudden someone flipped on a light,” he says. Rindlisbacher, whose work has been used on numerous magazine and book covers and in video footage and art exhibitions, is especially busy recently – and not just because of his art. Ironically, just as bicentennial celebrations start to roll out, Rindlisbacher and his wife Ellen are busy relocating to the Houston, Texas area. Ellen, an information technology specialist, will be starting a new job at BP Global and the couple will be moving sometime in June or July, just ahead of the largest bicentennial events in their hometown. Rindlisbacher, sitting at the kitchen table of his home, an 1888 dairy farm located at Malden Centre with a For Sale sign out front, says the move is bittersweet. With advances in digital technology, the help of family back home and a network of people across North America, he will be able to capture battle scenes on canvas (and, increasingly, on the computer screen using Photoshop). But Rindlisbacher says he and his wife will miss their home and the community that he grew up in. He will also miss a lot of the hoopla of the bicentennial events. Rindlisbacher plans to be at Gibson Gallery for the opening of an exhibit of his 1812-era paintings in June but will miss a lot of the action that follows, probably including the big Roots to Boots festival in August. He also will

Peter Rindlisbacher’s depiction of the 41st British Regiment (left) was used on the cover of Sandy Antal’s 2011 book Invasions, about the seizure of Detroit. A slightly different version was used on Donald E. Graves’ 2010 book Dragon Rampant. Right: Rindlisbacher’s dramatic night-time battle scene was used on James E. Elliott’s Strange Fatality: The Battle of Stoney Creek, 1813 that was published in 2009. - Photos courtesy Peter Rindlisbacher

likely miss Windsor’s Capture of Detroit, a festival that he helped organize. “I’ll be here in spirit if not in person,” he says. Rindlisbacher started his marine art in 1988, doing most pieces on commission while earning his masters and doctorate in clinical psychology at Queen’s University in Kingston. He started painting turn-of-the-century steamers and then started doing War of 1812 battle scenes – about 120 so far. “This is a case of a hobby just taking over.”

Rindlisbacher says there have been very few artists who have portrayed War of 1812 battles, and many of their works have been inaccurate. His work, by contrast, is renowned for the painstaking research and meticulous accuracy of its details. Historians who have worked with him on books and other projects appreciate that quality. “Apparently, one of the hallmarks of genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains. If that is so, then Peter is a genius as he takes infinite pains in ensuring that his work is [as] accurate as possible,” writes Donald E. Graves who has penned five books with Rindlisbacher covers, including two with original sketches and black and white paintings inside. Graves, whom the Times Literary Supplement once noted is “probably Canada’s foremost military historian,” says Rindlisbacher’s painting of a line of British infantry used on the cover of his 2010 book Dragon Rampant is a good example of his historical accuracy. The painting was based on input of six historical experts on Napoleonic period British uniforms and drill as well as those who had visited the ground over which that battle was fought. (A slightly different version of that scene was used on the cover of Sandy Antal’s 2011 book Invasions, about the taking of Detroit.) Calling Rindlisbacher “one of the most generous, professional and conscientious persons I have ever met,” Graves praises his even temper – “a rare thing in artists and authors” – during the 15 years he has worked with him.
Peter Rindlisbacher shows some prints of War of 1812 naval battles that are in his portfolio.
- Ed Goodfellow: Special to The Star

26 1812 -2012

'Unsung treasure'
“He is actually one of Canada’s unsung treasures and I am very glad that his fine body of historical artwork will be highlighted during the forthcoming Bicentennial, as well it should be.” Rindlisbacher says he has been interested in marine art “from way back, being a boat nut” and especially loves the research that goes into one of his paintings, the kind of “crack researcher” role that he took on in grad school. “I really enjoy the detective aspect of the job.” He adds historians can be scrupulous about accuracy. For instance, in one painting showing a line of redcoats someone pointed out the subjects’ shoulders were 18 inches apart instead of 16, sending him back to his easel. “The final result was absolutely dead nuts on.” In another painting, he had almost finished a scene of a British squadron on Lake Erie with a beautiful sunset when someone called and told him those ships left at noon. “I threw it in the closet in a rage and started from scratch.” Rindlisbacher, who used to be a sailing instructor, applies his knowledge of wind and wave action to his work. He also uses a variety of other methods – modern and otherwise – to achieve pinpoint accuracy. For instance, he has used Google Earth mapping to learn about topographical elements in one scene on Georgian Bay. In the image used on Graves’ book, he used an action figure doll in redcoat as a model for one figure and posed himself for the soldier who was just shot. James E. Elliott’s 2009 book Strange Fatality uses Rindlisbacher’s dramatic night-time image of the 1813 Battle of Stoney Creek on the cover. He says the artist’s branching out into figurative work and methods like Photoshop shows how he has been able to stretch his talents. But he is careful to point out that Rindlisbacher doesn’t use technology as a crutch for his art. “He knows his craft inside out,” Elliott says. “He can paint. He can flat-out paint.” The author says he marvels at Rindlisbacher’s marine art and jokes that the artist must have been on the deck of the ships he has painted, so realistic are the details. “He’s, quite simply, the best at what he does,” Elliott raves. “There’s nobody in his class given where he works in this narrow time period.” Graves’s favourite Rindlisbacher story involves the cover of his 1999 book Field of Glory. A difficult project, the writer and historian says he sent his final manuscript to the publisher except for the cover art which Rindlisbacher assured was in the final stage. Graves was enjoying a glass of whisky and quietly celebrating when his phone rang. “It was Peter who informed me in grave tones that his three-year-old daughter had entered his studio where the cover painting was drying on the easel and, intrigued by the colours, had done additional work on it with her grubby little paws,” Graves recalls. “My first question was whether the child was still alive and Peter, assuring me that she was but had been severely admonished, told me that he thought he could save the painting if he worked through the night. “He did, the book was published and that painting today adorns the front parlour of a restored late 1790s house along with another example of Peter’s cover art.”

The bombardment of Detroit is the subject of this work.

- Courtesy Peter Rindlisbacher

1812 -2012 27

Live August 4th Downtown 1812 Alive!

Bicentennial Parade

Presented by:

Destiny 1812 Art Exhibit Genealogy and 1812 Book Store Tavern on the River ~ Period Food & Drink


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1812 Sculptures

invites the community to join us in celebrating the War of 1812 Bicentennial Anniversary

The Town of Tecumseh

Stamp Cancellation and Peace Garden Launch Ceremony Thursday, June 21, 2012 10:00 a.m. Tecumseh Area Historical Society 12350 Tecumseh Road East, Tecumseh, ON

Canada Post “Tecumseh”

Artist Mark Williams poses next to one of his life-size sculptures, a higher ranking naval officer who fought against the Americans in the War of 1812. Opposite: another one of his creations shows a deckhand dressed in a plain tunic.

Life-size sculptures depict soldiers
By Anna Cabrera Cristofaro
Many years ago, Mark Williams drove to Fort Malden during a re-enactment event and began to sketch the scenes playing out before him. “I discovered a great appreciation for it,” says the local artist and sculptor. At the time of that first visit, he had no idea that one day he would be creating life-size sculptures of the very scenes he was drawing. “I had all these ideas in my head of what I could create out of these sketches, including an idea of Brock and Tecumseh on horseback, looking out and anticipating the great raid. The trouble with being an artist,” he says with a chuckle, “is sometimes your imagination works faster than your hands can.” An only child, Williams grew up in a “kid’s paradise” in Windsor, a home that sat beside an orchard. “Back in the day you had no video games and you weren’t glued to the television,” he explains. “As an only child, I needed to find means to entertain myself. So I created. And I just kept creating.” Williams worked for Ford Motor Company for 28 years and was in-house artist for the last decade. It was at Ford that Williams discovered his love of history – studying the automotive company and its impact on the community inspired him to “start digging in the archives at Ford. “I learned so much – what Ford’s presence was

- Ed Goodfellow: Special to The Star

Overnight bus trip to Tecumseh’s birthplace in Chillicothe, Ohio to experience the Spectacular Outdoor Drama Ticket packages start at

July 14, 2012


Tecumseh Corn Festival celebrates the War of 1812 Lacasse Park, Tecumseh, ON

August 23-26, 2012

Visit www.tecumseh.ca or call

(519) 735-4756 Ext. 421
for more information.

like at the waterfront, how they used to dictate how people lived and treated their properties. I guess that was my first taste of how interesting our local history is. It’s intriguing, it’s exciting, and it’s worth studying.” While at Ford, Williams and his wife Laura founded Imagine That! Laser Art Products. They create bronze sculptures and small hand-sculpted awards for various organizations. In recent years, Williams, inspired by his father with whom he shares a love for trains, added lasercut wood buildings for hobby train layouts to his repertoire. Business boomed over the years. One of his regular customers is rock star, and fellow hobbyist, Rod Stewart who had heard about Williams one day and ordered a kit. Two years ago, in preparation for the War of 1812 celebration, the town of Amherstburg approached historical artist Peter Rindlisbacher and Williams to design and erect bronze installations that would stand permanently in Amherstburg’s Navy Yard Park. Williams, whose specialty as a sculptor is in life-size bronze, did not hesitate to accept the town’s proposal, and quickly went to work. He knew the project would be massive. Reenactors were dressed and posed for the initial sketches; a canon was set up as if firing in battle. Williams used two-by-fours, Styrofoam and clay in the beginning stages of his pieces. After all the preliminary work was completed, the sculptures were then sent to the U.S., where the bronze was

30 1812 -2012

poured. “These pieces became a lesson in history even before they set foot in Amherstburg,” says Williams, who recalls having a conversation with an American customs officer at the border. “The offi-

cer asked me what these things were, and I told him they were sculptures of Canadian soldiers from the war of 1812. He asked me, ‘What war was that?’ “I told him, ‘It’s the war your guys and our guys were in, and the one that we won.’”

“These sculptures are supposed to represent the movements, the motions of our soldiers who were active in battle,” explains artist Mark Williams. One of the sculptures, dressed in a plain tunic and pants, and wearing no shoes, is a model of deckhand. The deckhand is portrayed stuffing a cannon; beside him is an officer of a higher rank. Williams explains that during this tedious and tiresome stage of preparation, the higher ranked officer had to place his thumb on the breach – a half-inch hole close to where the cannon is packed – or else oxygen would have found its way inside the cannon,“and the deckhand would have had his arm blown off. “This was dangerous and difficult work,” Williams says.“They definitely looked rough, very motley crew. But they obviously knew what they were doing – after all, they won the war.” While there has been no official announcement on the addition of more sculptures, Williams says he hopes there will be at least another two that will stand alongside these first installations.

aBout tHe scuLptures


Living History for the Whole Family!
June 2012
Monday 6/18 Declaration of War 1812 Flag Raising 10am River Raisin National Battlefield Park Friday 6/22 and Saturday 6/23 National Fife and Drum Muster 2012 Over 500 musicians on parade and in concert Friday: 7pm Loranger Square, Downtown Sat.: 11am Parade, Concerts Downtown Saturday 6/23 and Sunday 6/24 Traditional Native American PowWow 10am-7pm Monroe County Community College Saturday 6/30 Hull’s March Commemoration 10am – 4pm Living History Encampment 7 – 9pm concert by the 126th Army Band River Raisin National Battlefield Park

July 2012
Tuesday 7/3 Fireworks 9:45pm Sterling State Park Saturday 7/7 International 1812 Art Contest Awards All Day- Ellis Library More to come this fall and winter! Visit www.1812monroe.com for more information

1812 -2012 31

Restoration Work
This photograph of the blockhouse on the south end of Bois Blanc (Boblo) island was taken during an inspection in October 2004 before the roof collapsed.

- Photo courtesy The Becker Engineering Group

Reviving History
Historic buildings undergoing extensive work
By John Humphrey
Two local buildings with significant historical significance are being restored in time for War of 1812 bicentennial celebrations in Amherstburg. Hough House, situated on the grounds of Fort Malden National Historic Site, has undergone extensive renovations while the Bois Blanc (Boblo) block house is in the process of being completely rebuilt. Both edifices have tremendous links to the area’s rich history and the upgrades will give local residents and visitors to the area a window to the past for generations to come. a good functional design. “Quality construction and workmanship also characterize the building as seen in the masonry work and wood detailing.” The historic property also continues to have considerable environmental value, Hawksworth adds. “Hough House is compatible with its park-like landscape setting at Fort Malden National Historic Site and is well-known to staff and visitors.” Hough House recently completed renovations and restoration, just in time for the facility to play a role in War of 1812 bicentennial celebrations. The federal government, through its Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, gave $352,000 to Fort Malden NHS with an aim of enhancing the experience of visitors. “Hough House was redesigned with new exhibit cases housing several original artifacts,” says Hawksworth. “Hardwood floors were refinished and existing windows exposed to create a welcoming and authentic experience for visitors.” Today the interpretation centre in Hough House houses artifacts related to the War of 1812 and Rebellion of 1837-38 in addition to a First Nations Exhibit related to Chief Tecumseh with text translated in English, French and Nishnaabemowin (a dialect spoken by First Nations). In addition to a children’s activity room and an officer’s bedroom display, there is also a gallery that vividly illustrates the relationship of Fort Malden and the Town of Amherstburg. The interpretation centre known as Hough House is open during during Fort Malden’s operating season, May 1 to October 31. Fort Malden NHS invites visitors to come out and participate in War of 1812 bicentennial celebrations. Highlights over the course of the summer include Canada Day (July 1), Parks Day (July 21) Military Heritage Days (August 4- 5) and Fab Forts weekend (August 17-19). “Visitors will be inspired by captivating War of 1812 stories,” says Hawksworth. “Interactive programs will capture the imagination, engage the senses and inspire discovery.” For further information on Hough House and Fort Malden National Historic Site, visit the website parkscanada.gc.ca/malden. Used today as an administrative and interpretative centre for Fort Malden, Hough House has a colourful history, with an architectural importance dating back to its original construction as a combined laundry and bakery in 1861-62. It was renovated into a residence in 1920 and alterations to the building included removal of chimneys and the sunroom balustrade. The property was purchased by the federal government in 1946. Today Parks Canada is the custodian of the facility. “Hough House is a recognized federal heritage building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value,” says Cari-Lyn Hawksworth, site manager at Fort Malden. “Constructed in 1861-1862 in a utilitarian fashion, it was redesigned in 1920 in a Colonial Revival style. The house imitates the popular English Colonial architecture of estates built in the 1920s, and its domestic scale and centre hall plan demonstrate

Hough House

The transformation of the Bois Blanc (Boblo) Blockhouse in time for War of 1812 bicentennial celebrations has been even more dramatic as the historic building has been completely torn down and rebuilt. During the 1837 Rebellion, American raiders briefly occupied Bois Blanc Island. They were successfully repelled by British forces who then undertook to build and man three blockhouses on the island to protect it from further intrusion by American rebels. The blockhouse on the south end of Bois Blanc Island has been the only one remaining for decades. It had fallen into considerable disrepair in recent years until retired school teacher Bill Brundage set out to restore the building to its former glory. Brundage became familiar with the blockhouse during his days as a local elementary school teacher when he would take school crossing guards over to Boblo (Bois Blanc) in June as an end-of-schoolyear treat. “To tie in a little history on the trip, I

Bois Blanc Blockhouse

32 1812 -2012

Hough House, located on the grounds of Fort Malden National Historic Site, has recently undergone a complete renovation – just in time for War of 1812 bicentennial celebrtions.

- Photo courtesy Town of Amherstburg

would take the students down to the blockhouse and explain the history of it,” he recalls. “Then I’d cut the kids loose to spend the rest of the day at the amusement park.” The sad state of the blockhouse was upsetting to Brundage, who soon began knocking on doors in Amherstburg, looking for support to restore the building. “I was appalled at its condition,” he says. “I knew that if something wasn’t done, it would be lost forever.” During his quest for help with restoring the blockhouse, Brundage visited Fort Malden where officials informed him that the building wasn’t owned by the federal government as it was situated on land that was just outside the property owned on Boblo by Parks Canada. He soon teamed up with Norm Becker, a local engineer who had a track record of restoring local historic buildings. The blockhouse was dismantled last November and its components and logs were stored under the old Boblo dock all winter so they could dry out in preparation for its eventual rebuild this spring. The restoration process was an ambitious endeavour from the start. The blockhouse is two storeys high and, according to Brundage, about 70 per cent of the first storey or ground level of the blockhouse was suitable to be re-used in the rebuild. This is in stark contrast to the estimated 30-40 per cent of material from the blockhouse’s second storey that was deemed salvageable for reuse in the rebuild. Original wood that could not be saved was replaced by freshly-cut lumber. Brundage visited Fort George in Niagara this past winter where he took photos of a similar blockhouse to determine what pieces were missing from the Bois Blanc blockhouse and had to be replaced. Through it all, the biggest challenge faced by Brundage and his group of volunteers has not been the actual restoration and rebuilding of the Bois Blanc blockhouse, but rather its financing. The total cost of the project is expected to be $158,000. Becker is donating $28,000 in engineering, inspection and project management services. The Town of Amherstburg kicked in $7,900 and the group hopes to raise the rest from in-kind and cash donations in addition to grants from the federal government. “We are hopeful of receiving funds from Parks Canada, but we don’t know how much or when we will be receiving it,” says Brundage. The Boblo blockhouse was expected to be completely rebuilt by June of this year, although Brundage realizes that time frame may be a bit ambitious. “The building will be back on its original site by June, but we will still have to build doors and gun slits for it too,” he explains. “All of this work will be done by hand, just as it was in 1838.” War of 1812 Bicentennial celebrations at the Bois Blanc blockhouse include a First Nations encampment near the building for a weekend, the same as the Aboriginals did for a longer period nearly 200 years ago. After War of 1812 bicentennial celebrations, plans call for the blockhouse to be owned by the Boblo homeowners’ association although Brundage hopes it will come under the ownership of Parks Canada.

1812 -2012 33

Back To BaTTLe
Local volunteers re-live war of 1812 feats of courage
By Kim Pallozzi
Amherstburg’s peaceful King’s Navy Yard Park, with its scenic gardens and pathways, wasn’t always so serene. In the early 19th century it was a bustling shipyard filled with hardworking men and women. Fleets of imposing ships were built and repaired on that very soil and British forces and First Nations banded together to protect what was then known as Upper Canada. Heroes, like General Isaac Brock and Chief Tecumseh, did battle on that very spot. Instead of reading about this rich history in novels and textbooks, some prefer to re-live these brave feats of courage. David May, president of the Provincial Marine Amherstburg Re-enactment Unit, has dedicated his time and effort to ensure that the amazing stories that stem from the War of 1812 will not be forgotten. Near the base of King’s Navy Yard Park is the historic Commissariat Building where his re-enactment unit’s clubhouse fittingly resides. Unfortunately “there aren’t too many re-enactments in the Amherstburg area,” says May, whose unit has between 50 and 80 members. They are scattered all over Ontario and the major events take place once every three to four weeks. The number of participants sharply varies depending on the event, but “several hundred people are involved in the re-enactments and they’re from all over,” he says. May first became intrigued by Amherstburg’s history shortly after he moved to the town 15 years ago. His friend, who was a volunteer at Fort Malden, asked him to check it out and May soon became actively involved. It wasn’t until a navy re-enactment in Chatham 11 years ago that he officially “got hooked” to participating in living history events. Since then, it’s the camaraderie that May appreciates most about the hobby and “the fact that you’re doing what not too many other people do.” He also finds the artillery aspect to be very interesting. Before each demonstration, a plan must be hatched. Preceding an event, “we get the commanders of each group together and we plot out a battle scenario that we’re going to follow,” says May. The re-enactors must decide the roles of the Americans, the British and the Aboriginals. “We figure out who is going to do what and who is going to be positioned where and what we’re going to do. Whether the British are going to advance and then be repelled or if the Americans are going to advance,” explains May. Safety is crucial, he says, “because we’re firing explosives. We train everybody on the artillery.” To make the hobby more appealing to those who have been involved for many years, the Provincial Marine tends to get new ‘toys’ every once in awhile to keep things fresh. For instance, the unit became unenthusiastic about firing a small swivel gun during their demonstrations so “we bought a three pounder cannon, which is bigger than the smaller one we had and that changes your whole outlook because you have this nice, new, shiny, bronze gun,” explains May. With fundraising money, the unit also purchased a 44-foot north canoe that will be used in their events. “We get new things all the time and it invigorates you.” Also invigorating is the fact that May is one of


Dressed as Americans attacking by water at Penetanguishene in Georgian Bay, Provincial Marine Amherstburg Reenactment Unit members prepare to do battle.
- David May photo

34 1812 -2012

two models being cast for a statue that will be permanently displayed in King’s Navy Yard. His image will be of a soldier firing a canon with a pistol in hand. It’s hoped the statue will be unveiled in early August at Amherstburg’s Roots to Boots Festival. A War of 1812 re-enactment depicting The Capture of the Cuyahoga Packet is also scheduled to be demonstrated for audiences at the event. The Cuyahoga Packet was an American merchant vessel that sailed the Detroit River and carried valuable documents concerning the British. Last, but not least, May enjoys bringing the Aboriginal experience to life. He finds Tecumseh particularly compelling. “There were a lot of stories about him. Everybody calls him a chief, but I don’t think he was. He was a very wise leader, but if you talk to many of the First Nations they will tell you that he wasn’t a chief.” May adds: “When you’re reading history, you sort of have to choose what you believe.” To find out more about their upcoming events or about how to become a member of the Provincial Marine Amherstburg Re-enactment Unit, visit the website provincialmarine.org.

Members of the Provincial Marine Amherstburg Re-enactment Unit rig the ship the St. Lawrence II. Right: David May, president of the unit, poses in his War of 1812 uniform.
- Courtesy David May

43rd Annual Kingsville Migration Festival October 19-21, 2012
Join us in celebrating Kingsville’s heritage, the memory of Jack Miner and the importance of waterfowl migration in our region.
Friday Night ~ Opening Ceremonies at the Carnegie Tourism Arts & Culture Centre Saturday ~ Watch the Little Big Town Parade including the Lions Pet Parade & OPP Pumpkin Carvings Saturday & Sunday ~ Visit the Marketplace at Kingsville District High School, Migratory Birds of Flight Fine Art and Bird Shots Photography Contests, Windsor Woodcarvers Competition at Lakeside Pavilion Trout Pond, Youth Duck Calling, Dog Retriever Trials, Food, Entertainment and More!

20th Annual

November 17, 2012 - January 6, 2013
Lakeside Park & Pavilion 315 Queen St., Kingsville Lights are on daily from 5pm - 7am at Lakeside Park

Enjoy the breathtaking panorama of Kingsville’s historic Lakeside Park as it is magically transformed into a winter wonderland by the sparkling lights of 200 displays.
Opening Ceremonies November 17th at Dusk Complete with a fireworks display, dinner with Santa and the 8th Annual Santa Claus Parade at 6:30pm Saturdays Nov. 17th - Dec. 9th - Train Rides in the Park November 24th - Senior’s Afternoon Program December 1st -Children’s Afternoon at the Park December 7th & 8th - Wine, Ice and Art at the Park December 15th - Family Christmas Movie

For more information: (519) 733-2123 • www.migrationfestival.ca

Keep the Lights burning bright since 1993 For more information: (519) 733-2123 • www.fantasyoflights.ca
1812 -2012 35

Heritage restoration

Brushing upthe
By John Humphrey
Close to a half-century after their unveiling, a series or murals that adorn the west wall of General Amherst Secondary School’s gymnasium are being restored as part of local War of 1812 Bicentennial celebrations. “It’s a thrill and an honour to be involved with this project,” admits Jason Dyrda, the local artist given the daunting task of restoring the nine murals that depict local historic scenes ranging from French settlers circa-1812 up to Canada’s Centennial year of 1967. The high-profile artwork is located adjacent to Fort Malden National Historic Park, providing a majestic streetscape. “The biggest challenges of the project are that the murals are huge and the stone product used to create them was made in the 1960s and haven’t been made since,” admits Dyrda. “We have had to take samples of the stones off the wall in order to determine how to best duplicate them.”


Painting on and over an uneven stone surface that comprise the murals was originally thought to be a problem in their restoration, but likely won’t be the case. “We figured out how to get around that,” Dyrda says. “It won’t be a problem.” Work started on the project in early May and is expected to be completed in time for the August 3-5 Roots to Boots Festival. While Dyrda, a house painter by trade, expected to complete the majority of work himself, he was open to assistance from volunteers from the community and General Amherst students. Once completed, the restored murals should stand the test of time for another century, Dyrda anticipates. The murals will be protected by a protective shield that will safeguard them from vandalism and weather elements. Funding from Canadian Heritage, the Greater Essex County District School Board and private sector in-kind donations is covering the anticipated $50,000 cost of the project.

These War of 1812 murals on the outside of the gymnasium at General Amherst High School are being restored by local artist Jason Dyrda (above)

- Anna Cabrera Cristofaro and Town of Amherstburg photos

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wHo's wHo IN tHe war of 1812
Joseph Badeaux (Sept. 25 1777 – Sept. 12 1835) son of Jean-Baptiste Badeaux; rose to prominence in his home town of Trois-Rivières; he was a captain during the War of 1812 and reached the rank of major in 1822 ElijahBentley (fl. 1799–1814) was a Baptist minister and office holder from Upper Canada; became important to Canadian history because of his trial for sedition during the War of 1812 Robert Dickson (c.1765 – 20 June 1823) led a total of 400 Indians in an expedition led by Captain Charles Roberts, which captured Mackinac Island from its unwary American garrison. He subsequently led the Western Indians south to join the British army at Amherstburg, where they took part in the Siege of Detroit, which caused the surrender of an American army Gordon Drummond (Sept. 27, 1772 – Oct. 10, 1854) was the first Canadian-born officer to command the military and the civil government of Canada. As Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada; distinguished himself on the Niagara front in the War of 1812 and later became Governor-General and Administrator of Canada. DominiqueDucharme (15 May 1765 – 3 Aug. 1853), from Lachine, Quebec, was a French Canadian fur trader, settler, militia officer, and public servant; was commissioned a lieutenant in the Pointe-Claire Battalion of Militia JamesGivins (circa 1759 – March 5, 1846) was a British Army officer and militiaman who fought in the American Revolution and the War of 1812; also an Indian agent of Upper Canada, rising to Chief Superintendent of the Indian Department. He is the namesake of Givins Street in Toronto Maximilien Globensky (April 15, 1793 – June 16, 1866) enlisted in the Canadian Voltigeurs during the War of 1812, and took part in the battles of Chateauguay, Lacolle, and Ormstown. After the war, he was promoted to 1st lieutenant and remained in the militia William Green otherwise known as Billy the Scout, was key to the AngloCanadian victory at the Battle of Stoney Creek Ezekiel Hart (May 15, 1767 – September 16, 1843) served as a lieutenant in the 8th Battalion of TroisRivières militia; first Jew to be elected to public office in the British Empire William McKay (1772 – 18 August 1832) was a noted trader and traveler in Upper Canada, who subsequently served as a military officer during the War of 1812 Abraham Markle (Oct. 26, 1770 – March 6, 1826) was a businessman and political figure in Upper Canada and co-proprietor of Terre Haute, Indiana; he was imprisoned because he had been accused of treason. He was released and by December had joined the American side in the War of 1812 - died in 1826 while working on his farm there, apparently due to a stroke Benajah Mallory (ca 1764-Aug.9, 1853) was a farmer, merchant and political figure in Upper Canada; 1813 joined a company of Canadian volunteers formed by Joseph Willcocks which fought on the American side during the War of 1812 - died at Lockport in 1853 William Ryerson (March 31, 1797 – Sept. 15, 1872) was a Methodist minister and political figure in Canada West; born in Maugerville, New Brunswick in 1797 and grew up in Norfolk County in Upper Canada. He served with his father as a volunteer during the War of 1812 He died on his farm near Brantford in 1872 Charles Michel Salaberry (Nov. 19, 1778 - Feb. 27, 1829) was a French-Canadian of the seigneurial class who served as an officer of the British army in Lower Canada (now Quebec) and won distinction for repelling the American advance on Montreal during the War of 1812 died in Chambly, Quebec on February 26, 1829 Laura Ingersoll Secord (Sept. 13, 1775 – Oct. 17, 1868) was a Canadian heroine of the War of 1812; known for warning British forces of an impending American attack that led to the British victory at the Battle of Beaver Dams - died in 1868 at the age of 93 Joel Stone (1749-1833) was a United Empire Loyalist, and the founder of Gananoque, Ontario; defended the town and area again in the War of 1812 - died peacefully in November 1833 Joseph Willcocks (1773 – Sept.4, 1814) was a publisher, a political figure and ultimately, a traitor in Upper Canada; most notable contribution to the War of 1812 was the pressing for (and execution of) the burning of Newark (present-day Niagara-on-the-Lake) on December 10th, 1813, leaving just 3 buildings standing - On September 4th, 1814 while leading a skirmish during the Siege of Fort Erie, was fatally shot in the chest

- Courtesy of Town of Amherstburg Tourism Department

1812 -2012 37

ships on the horizon

The St. Lawerence II tall ship, based in Kingston, Ont., will be visiting Amherstburg as part of the Roots to Boots festival.
- Photo courtesy Town of Amherstburg

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The Appledore IV, based in Bay City, MI, shown here sailing out of Muskegon in 2006, will be stopping at Dieppe Park in Windsor June 20-25. Right: the Canadian schooner St. Lawrence II, based in Portsmouth Harbour, Kingston, will be docking in both Colchester Harbour and Amherstburg. - Photos courtesy sailscape.blogspot.ca, Town of Amherstburg

Tall Ships

sailing our way
This summer, travel back to 1812 by exploring the magnificent and memorable tall ships that will be sailing our way. In the spirit of friendship and history, one Canadian tall ship and one American tall ship will be visiting our shores to help ring in the bicentennial festivities. The St. Lawrence II, which is based out of Portsmouth Harbour in Kingston, belongs to Brigantine Incorporated, a non-profit organization which offers a sail training program for youth, 12 to 18 years old. In addition to the adventure and excitement living aboard a tall ship, trainees are taught how to steer the ship, manipulate its massive sails, and prepare meals, all under the watchful eyes of trained sailors. The St. Lawrence II will be docking at Colchester Harbour July 20 and 21. After a twoday stay, this tall ship heads back out on Lake Erie and will host a group of youth sailors for a week of training. The St. Lawrence II will then return for the Explore the Shore festivities at Colchester Harbour July 28-29, and will head out to Amherstburg August 4-5 to participate in the Roots to Boots celebration. The Appledore IV, an American tall ship based in Bay City, Michigan, is owned by BaySail, a non-profit organization which provides youth sail training and education. The Appledore IV was built in 1989 in Palm Coast, Florida, and is used most commonly by Science under Sail, a kindergarten to grade 12 environmental education program, as well as MainSail, a half-day sail training program. The ship is also available for group tours, private charter and maintains a regular schedule of public sails. The Appledore IV comes to Dieppe Park during Summer Fest on the Riverfront, June 20 and will stay docked there until June 25. Visitors can take a tour on this tall ship, which boasts a 3,500-sq.-ft. sail area and can fit 52 passengers including the crew. For more information on the St. Lawrence II and the Appledore IV, as well as other tall ships which may be headed our way for the bicentennial celebration, contact Kyra Knapp, War of 1812 project facilitator, at 519-784-1851.

Celebrate the Defenders of Upper Canada during the War of 1812, the United Empire Loyalists and the Six Nation Indians whose courage to uphold the Crown, God and Country led to the beginning of a new Nation.

www.uelac.org and

Bicentennial Branch (Southwestern Ontario)
of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada

1812 -2012 39

The American view

By Andrea Keelan

Neighbours commemorate


Michigan is commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812 with several events including: Raising of the Star Spangled Banner. The event marks the 200th anniversary June 18, 1812 of president James Madison's signing of the Declaration of War. See michigan.gov/war1812 for more information. Greenfield Village museum, which will also mark the 15-star flag raising ceremonies, will also hold a War of 1812 Muster August 18-19 and again in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Visit hfmgv.org for more details. The Historical Society of Michigan and Michigan War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission is also organizing a bus tour of six sites in southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio Saturday, Aug. 11. Call 1-800-6921828 or visit the website hsmichigan.org/conferences for more information.

mIcHIGaN marks tHe war of 1812

Windsor’s celebration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812 may seem strange at first glance. Why celebrate a war, especially one that took place 200 years ago against our Yankee neighbours? Part of the reason for the celebration is to honour the peace that has been maintained for two centuries. Madelyn Della Valle, curator at Windsor’s Community Museum, explains Canada’s special relationship with the United States. “I think that our relationship is rather unique and I think that one of the best things about our relationship is that although we’ve had periods of war and conflict, we’re still by and large incredibly friendly allies right now. There isn’t that memory of war that seems to exist in other parts of the world where people have been at war.” It’s truly hard to imagine that we were ever at war with America considering that Canada does more trade with Michigan than we do with any other U.S. state or any other country in the world, according to Roy Norton, consul general at the Detroit Consulate General of Canada. “The [Windsor-Detroit] crossing that both national governments are responsible for managing is the busiest anywhere in the 8,000-plus kilometre length of our shared border,” says Norton. The distinctive relationship doesn’t just exist in trade practices. How many Windsorites have family and friends in Michigan or cross the border daily for work? It wasn’t much different 200 years ago. “The militia weren’t too keen about this war because it was kind of like a civil war,” explains Della Valle. While families didn’t want to have to fight each other, something bigger was at stake. The War of 1812 is, for many historians and Canadians, a definitive moment in Canadian history. Even though Canada was still controlled by the British at the time, this war was when Canadians gained some identity.

Members of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, shown here on stage at the Chrysler Theatre last year, will be performing three pieces this August at the Capture of Detroit festival, including Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. - Windsor Star file photo

“We didn’t really become a country until 1867, but because the War of 1812 was, in large part, fought by militias and the public and natives, we start to get our own feeling of not being British but being Canadian,” says Paul Butler, executive director of Brigantine Inc. which will feature a 19th century warship during the bicentennial events. He says that up until the war, our history was still British, and despite not wanting to get involved in Britain’s war, 19th century Canadians also knew they didn’t want to be American. “[Our ancestors] said, ‘we kind of like who we are. We’re not British and we’re not American so what does that make us?’” The result, 200 years later, is passionate patriotism combined with a solid bond of peace with our American neighbours. The events taking place during the bicentennial aim to focus on that result and trying to show the public what life was like in this area in 1812. The Capture of Detroit festival will take place in Windsor August 25. It begins with a symbolic community walk from Sandwich town to the city festival plaza where activities such as 19th century games, a dress up area with period clothing where attendees can get their picture taken, and art stations for kids will be set up.

The Windsor Symphony Orchestra will perform three pieces at the festival including the 1812 Overture (which was composed by Tchaikovsky during the 1812 Napoleonic war). The WSO is hoping to be able to include real cannons and church bells in their performance, which would make it authentic to the original score. Barbara Croall, a First Nations composer, has been commissioned by the WSO to write a piece honouring Chief Tecumseh which is especially poignant given that Croall is a descendant of warriors that fought alongside Tecumseh in the capture of Detroit. The composition includes a First Nations narrator and drummers. Brent Lee has also been commissioned to create a piece that honours British General Isaac Brock who worked with Chief Tecumseh to capture Detroit. He also employed creativity in defeating American leader William Hull by dressing militiamen in old British uniforms to give the impression that the British infantry was much bigger than it was. Cathy Masterson, the manager of cultural affairs at the city of Windsor, promises the festival will be fun for all ages and that the focus of the festival is life on the Sandwich town frontier in the 19th century. “It’s a fun history lesson,” she says.

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SAT. AUGUST 25, 2012


the WAR of 1812
‘The Capture of Detroit’
Windsor’s Community Museum “Living in 1812”. Maps, photos, illustrations, and artefacts tell the local story of the War of 1812! The Art Gallery of Windsor “2 Women’s Views” of the War of 1812. Works by Canadian Artists Joyce Weiland & Catherine Reynolds


Gather at The Duff Baby House (221 Mill St.) in Sandwich Towne and join a Symbolic March along the river to Festival Plaza downtown

1812-themed family festival featuring theatre, dance, games, crafts, exhibits, storytellers, music, stilt-walkers, photo-booths & more!

The Windsor Symphony Orchestra performs LIVE onstage at Festival Plaza with a Special War of 1812 FREE PUBLIC CONCERT
Preceded by ‘Same Latitude as Rome’

Event Partners: Windsor Historic Sites Association, Windsor’s Community Museum, The Art Gallery of Windsor

for event updates and further information visit www.citywindsor.ca

Run for Heroes

one foe
The Blue Coats and the Red Coats will once again be taking to the streets of Amherstburg and the surrounding area this fall. But unlike their last encounter – during War of 1812 hostilities – this time they will be working toward a common goal. The World Alzheimer’s Day ‘Run for Heroes’ Marathon, the official run of local War of 1812 bicentennial celebrations, will be held September 25. This fall’s event comes on the heels (and shin splints) of the first-ever Run for Heroes Marathon held in Essex County that had an impressive field of 663 participants. “We were thrilled with the turnout last year,” admits organizer Chris Uszynski “but that’s only the starting point for us this year. “We want to be the biggest ‘small-town’ marathon in North America and have 4,000 runners.” The Run for Heroes Marathon will feature 42k, 21k and 10k runs in addition to a 5k run/walk. All are in support of World Alzheimer’s Day, September 25. The debilitating disease has had a profound impact on the life of Uszynski whose 90-year-old father has been battling the disease for 21 years. Up until recently, he was cared for at home by his wife. “Heroes live among us, raise the bar and make us all better people,” Uszynski says. “My mother is my hero.” Proceeds from the Amherstburg Run for Heroes Marathon go to the Alzheimer Society of Windsor and Essex County’s caregiver support programs. Last year’s marathon evolved from the 100-km ultra -marathons that Uszynski had organized for five years. The theme for this year’s Run for Heroes Marathon was an obvious choice, he adds. “Given the significance of the War of 1812 bicentennial events, it was a natural fit to tie-in the race this year.” Besides its cause and theme, the Run for Heroes Marathon is certain to attract record-breaking number of participants and spectators due to its world-class course. It includes routes that follow along the waterfront, through downtown Amherstburg and Fort Malden and along Big Creek. “The change in elevation is only 31-feet, so it’s a flat race,” Uszynski says. “We have a fast and scenic race.” Fifty-one per cent of last year’s runners had personal best bests, and 99 per cent of participants said they would happily recommend the race to their friends. “The other one per cent obviously have no friends,” Uszynski quips. Runners, each of whom will receive a commemorative six-colour War of 1812 medallion, must select a jersey colour in order to participate in the

One Race

Run for Heroes Marathon: blue in keeping with the American forces of the War of 1812 and red for the British. “Runners do not necessarily have to select their colour in order to identify themselves as American or Canadian. We just want everyone to come out and have a great time in support of a great cause. “But no-one can claim that they are from Switzerland when it comes to selecting their jersey colour … no-one can be neutral.”

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For more information on the Run for Heroes Marathon, including online registration, visit runningflat.com. The course only accommodates 4,000 runners so registration is on a first-come, first-registered basis. There is no race day registration.
Chris Uszynski (opposite) shows the medallion that will be awarded to the finishers of the 42k run at the World Alzheimer’s Day Run for Heroes Marathon in September. Above: a closeup of the medallion. - Ed Goodfellow photos

1812 -2012 43

fightfor ight freedom
By Karen Paton-Evans
The War of 1812 brought forth villains and heroes, allies and enemies. For enslaved African Canadians and escaped slaves from the U.S. living in Upper and Lower Canada, it must have been difficult to discern who was who. At the outbreak of the war, slavery was still a legal practice in Canada. Olivier Le Jeune, a boy taken from his African home, was the first slave recorded in this country in 1628. Slavery continued in Upper Canada and Lower Canada (Ontario and Quebec) for another 200 years, giving white men, living first under the French flag and then under the British, ownership of more than 2,000 Black people. When the U.S. launched the War of 1812, both free and enslaved Blacks in Canada fought for the British in the Militia, regular army regiments and the Royal British Navy. “Their contribution would have been the same as other militia members; however, they might have had more resolve to repulse the Americans since the actual physical freedom of their families was at stake. This wasn’t the case for white residents of Canada. For them it would have just been a change in government,” says Peter Meyler, who edited Broken Shackles: Old Man Henson, From Slavery to Freedom and co-wrote with David Meyler A Stolen Life: Searching for Richard Pierpoint. Volunteering to take up arms against invading Americans, Blacks were engaged in the fight on land and water. This past February, honouring Black History Month, Prime Minister Stephen Harper stated, “In conjunction with the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, we are taking a special look this year at the important contributions made by black soldiers to the historic battles that helped define the country that Canada would ultimately become.” The prime minister singled Richard Pierpoint, a freed slave, among the “heroes of the fight for Canada.” In his late 60s, Harper said, Pierpoint “volunteered and served with distinction in a number of battles in the Niagara Peninsula.” Pierpont had fought with the British during the American Revolution and won his freedom. He was ready to fight again, but this time, he wanted to serve in an Upper Canada regiment comprised of Black soldiers. Believing it unnecessary, MajorGeneral Isaac Brock first rejected Pierpont’s offer. After the Americans invaded Sandwich on July 12, 1812, Brock thought better and authorized the Coloured Corps, as long as a white man would be in command. The seasoned and stalwart Pierpont

African Canadians

Illustration of Black Loyalist Richard Pierpoint is based on artwork by Malcolm Jones, courtesy Canadian War Museum. Below: Elise HardingDavis, shown here in a 2008 photo, says our history cannot be segregated.
- Courtesy eighteentwelve.ca and Ed Goodfellow photo

served as a private. Although their white leader was not up for the job, the Coloured Corps distinguished themselves at the Battle of Queenston Heights on Oct. 13, 1812, firing and charging upon advancing Americans. The British and the Blacks were ultimately victorious. General Brock was killed in battle. The Coloured Corps also earned respect from the Royal Engineers for their expertise and willingness in constructing fortifications and barracks. Few records exist to tell of the acts of bravery and self-sacrifice made by Blacks defending Canada in the war. John Hall, believed to have been born in Amherstburg to a First Nations father and an African mother, spoke during his lifetime of

serving as a scout with Tecumseh’s warriors. Although details of Hall’s life conflict, he was said to have been present at Tecumseh’s death in battle. Hall personally suffered a bayonet wound to his leg, causing a permanent limp. Fighting took Hall from the Detroit River to Niagara. Eventually captured by the Americans, Hall was imprisoned in the U.S. till war’s end. Instead of being freed, he was sold into slavery to a Kentucky master. After a number of years, he escaped home to Canada. Hall finished out his days in Owen Sound, at age 100 or more. Between September 1812 and August 1816, 4,000 former slaves in the U.S. took up the offer of British Vice-Admiral Alexander Cochrane for passage to British colonies. Approximately 2,000 Black people were brought by boat to Nova Scotia during that period. Later, looking to the north for freedom, tens of thousands of African-Americans traveled the arduous Underground Railway to Canada between 1815 and 1860. The Thirteenth Amendment to the American Constitution abolishing slavery was ratified in 1865. After the War of 1812 was over, the militiamen were sent home and the Coloured Corps disbanded. In 1821, the government granted white veterans 200 acres each; Black vets were given half that. In place of a land grant, Pierpont asked for passage home to Africa. He was denied. “The role of Blacks in society remained the same after the war,” Meyler says. “Slavery still existed and did not end until the Emancipation Act of 1833 was passed by Britain.” In 1834, the Act took effect throughout the British Empire, including Canada. “Education for Black children was restricted at times. Many Blacks had to struggle to survive in Ontario; however, some prospered and overcame marginalization and the general prejudice in society.” Elise Harding-Davis, an African-Canadian Heritage Consultant, shows that our history cannot be segregated. “That we can openly say we are the offspring of the likes of Major General Sir Isaac Brock, hero of the War of 1812 and General Robert E. Lee, Civil War Confederate army commander, gives us no glory, it just points out our accurate and rightful heritage,” she says. “We too lived, contributed and died through those evolutionary times. We were not just slaves without souls or feelings, but people who wanted and needed to belong.”

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Windsor Community Museum, also known as the Francois Baby House on Pitt Street in downtown Windsor,
- Windsor Star file photo

french-canadians were active on and off battlefields
By Karen Paton-Evans
At the outbreak of the War of 1812, the Western District encompassing Essex and Kent Counties had 4,000 residents, 80 per cent of whom were of French descent. Able-bodied men were obliged to serve in the civilian militia and be prepared to fight under the British flag. The first French arrived in 1701 to help settle Detroit for France. In 1749, France established another settlement, this time on the other side of the river. It was named Petite Côte, today’s LaSalle. The English took control in 1760, refusing to recognize the French people’s settled lands from Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie, until at least three decades later. By 1796, the English lost ground in an agreement that saw the Detroit River designated as the dividing line separating Michigan from Upper Canada. Months before the War of 1812 began, the American government finally recognized French residents’ longstanding land claims in the Detroit region. Looking to protect their property, the French in the U.S. were not about to side with the British. After years of political wrangling, the boundary meant little to the French. They continued to cross the water, intermarry and interact with their own as they had done for more than 100 years. “People don’t realize that in 1812, this area was very much a French place. There were so many Frenchmen involved in the war and there are so few records,” says Guillaume Teasdale, post-doctoral fellow in the Centre for Research on French Canadian Culture at the University of Ottawa and sessional instructor in the Department of History at the University of Windsor. This past winter, Dr. Teasdale taught The Peoples of the Detroit River Region and the War of 1812. “Most French people were not really pleased about the new war,” Teasdale says. “They were not very supportive; not pro-American or pro-British. They just decided they should side with their own government.” Local farmers fulfilled their militia duties as the government required. Prior to 1812, they would answer the call to muster once a year, show up with pitchforks, march a bit, have a drink and go home. Once war was declared, militiamen typically served for three-month stints and then hurried back to family land laid along with river.


One exception was the Baby family, already working for the British government and so showing more loyalty. They are the namesake behind the Francois Baby House, a heritage site in downtown Windsor that's named after Francois Baby, first member for Kent in the Upper Canada legislative assembly. A militia officer in the war, his home was occupied by American Brigadier General William Hull who set up headquarters there after his forces invaded Canada in July 1812. “Most locals who played some role in the War of 1812 in the Detroit River region were either enrolled in the Essex or Wayne militia,” says Teasdale. “On this side of the border, the Essex militia regiment included two flank companies. Local French settlers made up about half of the first flank company, while other local French settlers made up almost all of the second flank company. Apparently, there were also some battalion companies within the Essex militia regiment.” The Michigan Territory militia included two regiments in southeast Michigan. The First Regiment included men living in Fort Detroit or nearby farming settlements; the Second Regiment included men Continued on page 48

46 1812 -2012

Think you've got a connection with someone who lived during the War of 1812? The Essex County branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) wants to commemorate that connection. Amherstburg's 1812 bicentennial website (1812amherstburg.com) includes the link Finding your 1812 Roots through the OGS with an a-w listing of family names of those living around the time of the war. Everyone from Allain (allocated land in Amherstburg in 1820) to Henry Wright (a proven Loyalist of First Flank Company, 1st Essex Regiment who fought from 1812-15) is listed.

DesceNDaNts trace GeNeaLoGy to war of 1812 era
People like Debra Honor have benefitted from tracing their genealogical roots. The retired teacher began researching her family's history in elementary school and learned her ancestor, Edward Hazel, was among those with Chief Tecumseh when the famous Shawnee warrior was killed at the Battle of the Thames. Honor is Region 1 director of the Essex, Kent and Lambton OGS. She is among those who have received a certificate that acknowledges their genealogy. The Essex County branch of the OGS is accepting anyone who can prove descent from one of the following:

• a British soldier based in the Western District (Essex, Kent or Lambton counties) during the War of 1812 • a member of a Canadian Militia unit who served in the area • a First Nations person who saw action on the British side during the war • a person who lived in the Western District. Successful applicants will also be invited to commemoration activities in the area from 2012-15. For more details, visit 1812amherstburg.ca

1812 fiction
The Americans are counter-attacking! The Americans are counter-attacking! Well, they are in Tom Omstead's fictional world. Omstead, a native of Wheatley who now splits his time between Canmore, AB and Kingsville, recently released his first book, the political thriller The Red Wing Sings. It opens with a terrorist attack on the Fermi 2 nuclear power plant and retaliation against the Canadian suspects. Omstead threads stories and events Tom Omstead from the War of 1812 through contemporary settings and themes in his narrative. His story first came to him in a dream he had in which the main character comes across Sir Isaac Brock's diary. The Red Wing Sings is available at Chapters-Indigo, Amazon and other book sellers. For more information, visit tomomstead.com.

this red wing sings

• • • • • •

Animale Spanner Joseph Ribkoff Sandwich Argenti Simon Chang


New Home of Amherstburg Doll & Costume Museum

Sponsored and supported by Harrow Rotary Club

Historical map shows early layout for Fort Detroit.

french fighters
Continued from page 46 living at River Raisin. Two independent militia companies embodied settlers from along the Clinton River and the River St. Clair. The majority of the companies were comprised of Frenchmen, directed by French leaders. “On the American side, sources tell us that dozens of Frenchmen worked for the U.S. government as spies. Some had relatives on this side of the border,” Teasdale says. Militia rosters and other sources indicate French Canadian militia fought alongside British soldiers and First Nations warriors at the Battle of the River Raisin in Frenchtown, now Monroe, Michigan on Jan. 22, 1813. “Almost for sure, you had members of the same family on the battleground in different camps,” Teasdale says. After the British won, General Henry Procter gave his word that American prisoners would be spared; however, some Natives killed up to 60 wounded prisoners under their guard. One French Canadian militiaman who died in the River Raisin battle was Jean Baptist Mainville, born in 1777 to Charlotte Leduc and Joseph Miville dit Deschenes (spellings of family surnames vary as many settlers were illiterate, relying on the local priest for accuracy). Today, Mainville’s descendent Bob Janisse is doggedly researching the family genealogy.

Janisse, 70, achieved a B.A. in History last semester at the University of Windsor but felt compelled to take Dr. Teasdale’s course, especially when he learned the class would visit the River Raisin National Battlefield Park. Janisse, who has traced his family line locally to 1745 with the arrival of likely voyageur-turned-settler Françis Nicholas Janisse, also boasts other family members in the 1812 militia: Nicholas Janisse and Joseph Janisse were in the 2nd Regiment Essex Militia under Captain Maissonville; and in the Company led by Captain Labute was Hyppolite Janisse, great-great-great-grandfather of Bob Janisse.

"There are almost no sources written by French people about their experience of the War of 1812. It is a field of research that has been neglected." - Guillaume Teasdale
“I am not sure if I am ‘proud’ that they participated because we don’t know whether or not they ‘volunteered’ because it was the law that every able-bodied man between the ages of 16 and 50 (Militia Acts of 1787 and 1793) was obligated to join,” Janisse reflects. “I do think that it is a very distinctive and notable fact in my genealogy that they participated and that it can be proven with primary evidence and not just hearsay. Not too many can claim that or want to take the time to do

the research or even care about that.” Another of Teasdale’s students, Larry Beneteau, is descended from the original French settlers. “The first Beneteaus came to Canada shortly after 1701 as farmers,” Beneteau says. He knows his long-ago relations battled on both sides during the War of 1812. Of their involvement, Beneteau says, “I’m very proud that they fought to protect their families and their lands.” Teasdale estimates “a few dozen” French Canadian militia died in the war. Rather than fight their friends and relations, “there were a lot of French people who deserted during some battles and hid in the houses of family on the other side of the border.” The war years were harsh for French families. Native warriors killed their livestock for food; invading armies burned their crops and tore down farm fences for firewood, leaving fruit trees and remaining livestock unprotected. “You can find a lot of petitions from the French to authorities or Congress complaining of how they are starving,” Teasdale says. They requested food, money and relief. “I don’t think they got everything they asked for, but you can tell they’re not very happy about the destruction of their properties. “By the end of the war, everyone was starving: British, French and the Indians. It was time for the war to end,” Teasdale says. “There are almost no sources written by French people about their experience of the War of 1812,” Teasdale says with regret. “It is a field of research that has been neglected.”

48 1812 -2012

Phantoms of the Canard

a 'moving play'
By Anna Cabrera Cristofaro
History, mystery, intrigue and an animated cast of characters from our region’s history – that’s what Ron Lapointe of River Canard Canoe Company hopes to contribute to this year’s much anticipated bicentennial festivities. From April 21 to October 8, River Canard Canoe Company, in partnership with local director Rob Tymec and his theatre company Monkeys with a Typewriter present Phantoms of the Canard, an interactive “moving play” which brings to life the stories of our region’s past, through walk-abouts in areas of historical significance as well as a canoe ride down River Canard. “Without giving too much away, I can say that this is based on our old ghost tours concept,” says Lapointe. “A narrator will accompany the group, and our ‘phantoms’ – actors and actresses dressed as folks from times gone by – will appear and disappear throughout the tour. It’s meant to be suspenseful, surprising and entertaining, a different way to look back at our history.” Through the two-hour tour, groups will learn about the fateful first meeting of Tecumseh and Brock and their siege of Detroit. Canadian militia soldiers will make appearances, as will members of the First Nations and their involvement in the war. “You’re meant to feel River Canard and its ghosts come to life,” says Lapointe. “It’ll feel like you’re right there, when James Hancock, the first British casualty of the war, died, which was right on River Canard.” Hancock’s fellow soldier, John Dean, was injured, and taken prisoner. The significance of this particular event – when Hancock was the first to fall as British soldiers were attacked by 250 American enemies on July 16, 1812 – prompted Lapointe to approach Amherstburg Council in May. He is hoping that Essex County council rename the bridge over River Canard the John Dean and James Hancock 1812 Memorial Bridge. Amherstburg Council directed its administration to prepare a report investigating the accuracy of Lapointe's detailed historical information. “Those soldiers stood their ground,” says Lapointe. “They represent the strength and bravery of those who fought here.”

River Canard, shown here and (below) in an archival photo of one of its bridges, was the scene of a War of 1812 battle about three kilometres downstream from this location.

Caesars Windsor is proud to Honour tHe 200tH anniversary of tHe War of 1812
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1812 -2012 49

General Brock's Sail Away will recreate the voyage the War of 1812 hero took to Pelee Island July 28. Below: Leamington Marina will be the setting for various War of 1812 commemorative activities that day.

- Ed Goodfellow photo and courtesy Leamington Municipal Marina

Leamington & Pelee Island

By Carla Gyemi

South Shore

50 1812 -2012

July 28, 2012 will not be a normal Saturday night at the Leamington marina. The town of Leamington has planned an impressive full-day celebration for the War of 1812 bicentennial. Marina visitors will be taken back to the year 1812, surrounded by people in period dress performing re-enactments from the time. General Brock’s Sail Away and The Officer’s Mess are signature events planned for the day. They honour General Brock’s one-night stay at what is now Point Pelee. “While General Brock was here in Leamington, he hosted a gala for his officers, and did some sailing events and activities on Lake Erie. We are trying to recreate what he actually did during his one-night stay here in Leamington,” says Amanda Smith, co-chair of the Leamington War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee. General Brock’s Sail Away is a free event for boaters docked at the Leamington marina. The boaters will leave the marina around 8 a.m. and

travel to Pelee Island where a shoreline lunch has been planned at Pelee Island Winery. Cost is $15.95 plus tax, per person. For information, call 519-326-0834 or email marina@leamington.ca. The Officer’s Mess is a buffet dinner event starting at 6 p.m. It takes place at the marina’s Leam-

ington pavilion, which will be transformed that night to look like an Officer’s “Mess”, the proper name for the place where sailors and officers eat together, Smith explains. The dinner features foods of the 1812 time period including a veal and pig carving station.

Period dress is encouraged. For advance tickets – $35 per person, including dinner buffet and entertainment by Celtic trio B.J. Laub and Friends and Hart School of Dance highland dancers – call Leamington marina, 519-326-0834. The afternoon also includes some unique, family friendly events – all free and open to the public. They start shortly after the Sail Away concludes around 1 p.m. “If the average person is down at the Leamington marina in the afternoon on July 28th, they are going to see a lot of activity going on,” says Smith. There will be fully dressed re-enactors. On the marina patio, the local band Same Latitude as Rome will perform The Songs of 1812. After 2 p.m. you can watch two voyager canoes demonstrating in the marina water area. They will also race towards land, perform a fur trade re-enactment in full costume, then return to their canoes and exit the marina. This event is coordinated through Provincial Marina Re-enactment Group and the Windsor Essex Canoe Club. A Smudge ceremony follows at the marina, 5-5:30 p.m. This is a welcoming ceremony where a prayer is said to the spirits to promote peace, goodwill and protection. It will be presented by the Caldwell First Nations, a local First Nations group located in Leamington, which will also perform traditional drumming and dance. "There are “This is a very bicentennial unique thing we celebrations are able to do in happening across our Leamington because we have region, and it's a First Nations important for group,” Smith Leamington to says. “If you’ve never seen a participate in celebrating those Smudge ceremotype of events at a local level.." ny or thisfrom the welcome - Amanda Smith First Nations, it’s going to be very ceremonial, and really unique. And they encourage participation.” Leamington is also participating in the international Peace Garden Project, a joint Canadian-U.S. event that’s led by the Binational Tourism Alliance. The town has selected an existing garden at the marina to dedicate and design as an international peace garden and to celebrate 200 years of peace and friendship between the two countries. An unveiling of the peace garden takes place June 15 at 10 a.m. at Leamington Marina. Leamington Mayor John Paterson has extended invitations to the town’s sister cities in Holly, Mich. and Sandusky and Port Clinton, Ohio, to participate in events that day. “The war of 1812 is important to Canada’s history,” Smith says of what prompted Leamington to celebrate the milestone year. “There are bicentennial celebrations happening across our region, and it’s important for Leamington to participate in celebrating those events at a local level. And it gives not only our local residents, but visitors to the community a very specific event to come out and be involved with.” For more information about War of 1812 events, visit the website leamington.ca/marina.

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Salute The Royal Newfoundland Regiment, The Royal Navy, The Provincial Marine, The 41st Regiment Of Foot, The Essex Militia And The First Nations Warriors Under Tecumseh Who So Gallantly Fought Against Superior Numbers To Preserve Our Heritage And Ensure That Canada Would Be A Free And Independent Country. We Pay Homage To James Hancock Of The 41st, A Sentry At The Skirmish At River Canard And The First Fatal Casualty Of The War Of 1812. ★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
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1812 -2012 51

Songs of war &peace
By Anna Cabrera Cristofaro
Here’s a fun fact: geographically, Essex County sits on the same latitude as Rome, Italy. It was this little tidbit of trivia that inspired musician Peter Boyer to round up some of the most talented musicians and songwriters in the region and create a band that writes and performs original music about events in Canadian history. “Same Latitude as Rome has a whole suite of songs that tells of what happened in southern Ontario,” Boyer explains. “I always felt that the Canadian narrative isn’t talked about enough. As Canadians from this area, we live in a sort of American bubble. We’re inundated with music and cultural references from the United States – it’s nothing to us to hum Sweet Home Alabama or sing about Billy the Kid. I thought, ‘How many of us know about Louis Riel?’ “Characters in our history are intriguing. Shouldn’t they be epitomized in song?” Boyer’s first song was about the skirmish on River Canard on July 16, 1812, when BrigadierGeneral William Hull sent a troop of Americans under the command of Colonel Lewis Cass to see how close they could get to Amherstburg. The Americans outnumbered the British, who fell back, but abandoned their position the next day. They later returned, on several occasions, in an attempt to take back the post, which had been re-occupied by the British. “As a songwriter, diving into this rich, interesting history, I found it was a great opportunity,” says Boyer. “While it wasn’t a grand plan at the time to write a suite of songs on 1812, something led me there.” That “something” was a fateful meeting with Dan Loncke, a retired veterinarian and educator from Windsor who conducts War of 1812 tours on the Detroit River. With a passionate interest in Canadian history, and specifically on the War of 1812, Loncke was Boyer’s dream partner, someone with whom he could write his War of 1812 Bicentennial songwriting project. “We struck a great relationship,” says Boyer. “Dan knows the history inside out, and with Dan’s help, it made the songwriting experience even better. Not only did I have this historical authority, we clicked as artists as well – and that chemistry between songwriters is something you can never take for granted.”

Same Latitude as Rome

by same Latitude as rome
Chorus: Hold your fire, hold your line Don’t be afraid Pack the charge, light the load Fire the carronade In the year of 1812, America did dare To resist his Majesty, and war declared Fighting men made ready everywhere To conquer Canada, they prepared
Dan Loncke (left) and Peter Boyer started Same Latitude as Rome which will release its CD 1812 at Mackenzie Hall June 23. - Silvio Carlini photo

Same Latitude As Rome grew to seven members, including Boyer, Loncke, Chris Martin (bass), Jeff Meloche (drums), Besnik Yzeiri (violin), Tim Logsdon (mandolin), Anneke McCabe (keyboard and vocals) and David Light (acoustic guitar). The group performs as a duo, trio and quartet, and while their performances as a full seven-piece band are rare, they always record as a full band. To date, they have recorded three CDs and are set to release their latest CD, Songs of 1812, in June. Same Latitude As Rome will be performing at Fort Malden’s Military Heritage Days Festival Saturday, July 31 at 1 and 3 p.m. For sound clips and more information, visit www.samelatitudeasrome.com.

To make war, the U.S. was not averse After British blockades seized their trade and commerce And by impressment, the Admiralty coerced Yankee ships with British sailors, who did desert Settlers brought conflict to the old Northwest Tecumseh sought alliance to prevent conquest He said “With the Redcoat’s guns, the Yankees shall be repressed” So he joined the British cause and loyalty professed Militiamen take heed, what you’re fighting for It’s the noble and the brave pay the price of war Though both sides stared down the cannon’s bore Today we live in peace and fight no more

52 1812 -2012

Battle of the Thames

tecumseh's last
October 5, 2013 marks the 200-year anniversary of one of the most pivotal battles of the War of 1812 – the Battle of the Thames. The battle, which happened just outside of modern day Thamesville on Longwoods Road, was the last battle fought by Shawnee Chief Tecumseh, who has gone down in history as one of Canada’s most significant leaders. The history books mark Tecumseh’s participation in the Battle of the Thames as one of unrelenting courage. “As the US cavalry fell upon them in waves, the British broke and ran. But Tecumseh stayed and fought to the death,” was how Will Ferguson, a noted author of Canadian culture and history, described the battle. Tecumseh’s fight alongside British troops in order to stop American expansion into First Nations territory as well as to establish a sovereign First Nations homeland, had made the Battle of the Thames, a technical loss for the British in the war, a marker of significance for the alliance of British and First Nations troops. It was also a critical reminder of the role of First Nations people in the history of Canada. In order to mark this event, the Battle of the Thames organizing committee, chaired by well- known local re-enactor Mark Dickerson, are planning a weekend full of activities and education about the Battle of the Thames and the War of Mark Dickerson, 1812. In fact, the committee chair of the Battle will soon be receiving more of the Thames help, with funding received Committee, is seen here outside from the Ontario Trillium of historic St. Foundation, when it hires a Peter's Church in projects manager to help faTilbury near where cilitate the event. British troops “This is going to be a great sought refuge event. We plan to entertain, days before the educate and involve our October 5, 1812 community about our past,” Battle of the Thames. says Dickerson. “Our goal is - Photo courtesy to make people more aware Kyra Knapp about part of the story, how we became ‘Canadians’ and to honour those who lived through such difficult times.” The Oct. 4-6, 2013 commemorative event kicks off with an educational day on Friday aimed at local schools and is followed Saturday by a large-scale re-enactment of the battle. The roads leading up to the event will be closed for the large expected crowd and buses will be available to shuttle people back to designated parking areas. People will be able to interact with re-enactors, including a live cavalry. They will also enjoy period games, stories and food. For more information about this event, visit the Battle of the Thames Committee website at battleofthethames.ca.



Windsor West Constituency Office 2570 Dougall Avenue, Unit #2 Windsor, ON N8X 1T6 Tel 519.977.7191 | Fax 519.977.7029 Email tpiruzza.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org Web www.teresapiruzza.onmpp.ca



Windsor-Tecumseh Constituency Office 2825 Lauzon Parkway, Suite 211 Windsor, ON N8T 3H5 Tel (519) 251-5199 | Fax (519) 251-5299 Email dduncan.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org Web www.dwightduncan.onmpp.ca


G arden Tour
S Saturday Ju 23rd une 10 to 4pm $10 0
12 2andunderfree,nopets. Tickets icketsavailableatFront icketsavailableatFrontRd.&Laurier the day of the event.


Great Houses on Tour!

Join us for General Brock’s Officers Mess at the Marina @ 5:00 pm Tickets

At the sound of the cannon Leamington will start its Bicentennial celebrations on July 28th.

Visit our web site: www.leamington.ca/marina or call 519-322-2337 for more information.

1812 -2012 53


Handcrafted wigwams and burning fires greet visitors to the Indigenous Enviro-Education Centre at Moraviantown. The authentically recreated First Nation village presents living history from the time of the War of 1812.
- Photo courtesy Nmaachihna

First Nations centre

Tradition on display
al aboriginal ways of life pre-European contact. Bruce Stonefish, the executive director of the IEC, an educational body which focuses on First Nations teachings in and out of the classroom, says that the vision of Nmaachihna is to create a site where IEC will deliver “culturally based programming to schools both within our First Nations membership and within the public education system.” Under the current curriculum all Ontario students in grade eight are required to learn about the War of 1812, as well as the history of First Nations in Canada. This centre offers hands-on learning that falls in line with educational policy. Here, both students and adults are able to learn the history of the authentically re-created traditional village. All structures on the property are built and maintained according to customs of the time without the use of modern gas-powered tools. Visitors can view demonstrations and even participate in activities such as canoe making, hide tanning, traditional sport field, and a battlefield which will tell the story of the Battle of the Thames from the First Nations perspective. IEC looks to expand the common perception of learning, bringing people into an authentic environment where all five senses are being activated in the learning experience. The site is rapidly becoming the subject of interest even outside of the educational community. The site promises a meaningful and authentic look at First Nations culture, language, and lifestyle, and the ability to learn that history in a hands-on way. For information and/or to book your school, class, or community group contact: Bruce Stonefish, IEC executive director, iecstonefish@xplornet.com.

Stepping foot into the hand-crafted wigwams of Moraviantown’s Indigenous Enviro-Education Centre (IEC) fills you with a sense of awe at the amount of work which went into building one of these traditional First Nations homes. The smell of the fire, which burns day and night year-round to protect the moisture content of the wigwams, fills the air while knowledgeable guides (and builders of the structure) impart the knowledge of First Nations life around the time of the War of 1812. The centre, called Nmaachihna, which in the Lunaape language means “We are going home,” offers a series of programming whose aim is to instill in First Nation children and youth a strong sense of belonging and cultural identity. It will soon welcome both First Nations and non-First Nations youth alike to participate in the programming aimed at understanding one of the many tradition-

54 1812 -2012

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