Sunday, September 30, 2012

Laura Secord's Ingersoll Family Roots

The family of Laura Secord, War of 1812 Canadian heroine, surfaced during a
completely unrelated (or so I thought) Backus family search. Turns out that
Laura's step-mother was Sarah (Whiting) Backus, ex-wife of John Backus. Sarah
married 2nd, Thomas Ingersoll, who was Laura (Ingersoll) Secord's father. As a Mayflower descendant of John Alden, Sarah's marriages are found at the Descendants of John Alden website.

From The Ingersolls of Hampshire : a genealogical history of the family from their settlement in America, in the line of John Ingersoll of Westfield, Mass.:
Thomas [Ingersoll, Laura Secord's father], born March 24, 1750. Emigrated to Canada before the Revolutionary War*. Settled the town of Ingersoll. Served as a major in the Colonial troops.  Married three times : (1) Elizabeth Dewey, 1775 ; (2) Mrs. Mercy Smith, 1785 ; (3) Mrs. Sarah Backus, 1789-

The Ingersoll and Backus families lived in Great Barrington, Massachusetts (that is where the divorce between John Backus and Sarah Whiting Backus took place).

*Henry Knox and the Revolutionary War Trail in Western Massachusetts, stated that Thomas Ingersoll went to Canada in 1792.  Also stated  "Laura was four months old when Henry Knox's oxen caravan went past her family's house in Great Barrington."

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Escape To Cedar Point

Modern-day view of Cedar Point in Ohio from Johnson's Island

Until 1852, Johnson's Island was called Bull's Island, after its early owner, E.W. Bull. On the night of Sept. 26, 1812, four boats loaded with provisions from the Portage River stockade, started for Camp Avery on the Huron River. From the head of Sandusky Bay, manned by 18 men, the boats stole cautiously along the south shore of the long headland. Rumors of...Indians had increased. The intention was to proceed directly to the Huron but a violent storm was encountered and the boats landed on the east side of Bull's Island. [Source]

See blog post about the first battle site in Ohio.
Twenty men held the Indians at bay in a cabin while the main body escaped by boat to Cedar Point. 

Another account here; not only a good historical perspective, but a reminder that what is now known for "thrill rides and water slides" was once a War of 1812 site.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Revenue Cutters

Here's an article about U.S. Revenue Cutters captured in the War of 1812, by William R. Wells II.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Don't Give Up The Ship

From the Naval History blog:

 ...most famously as the motto emblazoning Oliver Hazard Perry’s battle flag at the Battle of Lake Erie: “Don’t Give Up The Ship.”

A modern day version of  Admiral Perry's view at the Battle of Lake Erie

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Colonel Johnson's Vote For War

The Authentic biography of Colonel Richard M. Johnson, of Kentucky was listed on Mirlyn  at the University of Michigan library with a link for an online edition.

"While an infant, he was among the number of women and children in the fort at Bryan's station, when a furious assault was made upon it by five hundred Indians, and successfully defended by only thirty, men. Dangers like these, which attended him continually in youth, had formed his mind to habits of peril, that made an impression never to be erased. His friends believed him to be possessed of military talents, capable of elevating him to a rank among the first commanders of the day."

 "In June, 1812, war was declared by Congress ; and for that declaration Col. Johnson gave his vote."

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Best Troops In The World

From George Rogers Clark Selected Papers at The...Trans-Appalachian Frontier History Conferences":

"'Best troops in the world!' William Henry Harrison exclaimed to some Michigan men at Fort Meigs, Ohio, during 1813."

Though some beg to differ. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The British At Prospect Bluff

From the Florida Memory blog - British Intrigue And The Events At Prospect Bluff:

"...the British did not give up the idea of using Spanish Florida to launch operations against the Americans. The War of 1812 provided the opportunity. Shortly after British soldiers arrived at St. George Island opposite the Apalachicola River in the summer of 1814, they built a fort about 15 miles from the river’s entrance at a place called Prospect Bluff and stockpiled weapons inside."

Our 2007 visit to the area.

The explosion depicted in the display (shown in the picture above) explained here

Friday, September 21, 2012

Claims In The Niagara District

The War of 1812 at Library and Archives of Canada included the War of 1812: Board of Claims for Losses, 1813-1848, RG 19 E5A, Microform: t-1124.

One series of claims, from Grimsby Township, Niagara, started on Page 246:

Titus Doan is mentioned in a claim on Page 250.  Joseph Doan's claim is on Page 256.

Another Niagara group started on Page 737.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

H.M.S. Nancy

The Saga of the "Nancy," from the HMS Nancy Project blog, included the following statement:

"The one and only major story is that of the NANCY, she never lost a running engagement, and more often that not, against a superior enemy force. Any nation worth its salt would be proud to have the NANCY as part of their history."

A reference to the Nancy was embedded in the following claim:

"That with aspect to a further claim for a quantity of flour destroyed by the enemy on board the "Nancy" schooner, in Lake Huron.... ."

Source:  The War of 1812 at Library and Archives of Canada included the War of 1812: 
Board of Claims for Losses, 1813-1848, RG 19 E5A, Microform: t-1124

The above claim of flour on the "Nancy" and the excerpt below were both from the Petition of The Reverend William McMurray and his wife Charlotte, daughter of the late John Johnston....(Page 22):

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Urbana In The Wilderness

From the Springfield News-Sun, a story that sprung from an 1812 war journal kept by a soldier, Samuel Black.  An excerpt from the article:

URBANA — Ronald Irick calls Gen. William Hull’s wilderness march from Urbana to Detroit in the opening days of the War of 1812 “the local event here that nobody remembers.”

Present day Urbana, Ohio

See William Fulton post where Urbana In the Wilderness was mentioned.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Marking Hull's Trace

The trace or trail of Gen. Hull was to enable his army with its artillery and baggage to pass from Dayton [Ohio] to Brownstown [Michigan], the outpost of the English army on the Canadian border.

The march from Dayton, where the army was brought together, to Springfield, was over the roads of that early day, and reached Urbana, an outpost of the Ohio civilization in May 1812.

[Source: Ohio history, Volume 24,  By Ohio Historical Society]

See historical markers related to Hull's trace.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Swords Of General Hugh Brady

From Brady family reunion and fragments of Brady history and biography:

General Brady's sword, which he carried through the War of 1812, was bequeathed to his son, Samuel P. Brady, as well as the sword that the people of Pennsylvania honored him with on the express understanding that it was to "descend from father to son, and only to be used in self defence and in defence of our country."  His regulation sword he gave to his son-in-law, Major Electus Backus.

Note:  Major Electus Backus was the son of Major Electus Backus who was mortally wounded at Sackett's Harbor in the War of 1812.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Poem Of The Battle Of North Point

The Battle of North Point: a poem commemorative of September 12th, 1814...
By William Matthew Marine (excerpted below):

The clouds hung o'er the threatened coast,
Above the bluff the shore the strand,
 Where the imperial red-coat host,
 In barges rowed toward the land.
 Upon the beach strewn pebbles lay,
 Smoothed by the water's polishing.
 Where ebbs and flowing tides held sway,
 To dashing breakers murmuring.
 The river rolled great waves of scorn,
 Indignant at the sight beheld;
 Its wrath was roused that early morn,
 And troublous billows dashed and swelled.
 The Briton crossed the deep to siege,
 To storm the heights of Baltimore,
 And wreak his malice and his rage,
 To light the torch upon this shore.
 From decks of oak the soldier proud,
 Marched in the ranks to serve his King.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Defenders Day In Maryland

September 12th is Defenders Day which is celebrated in Maryland.  It commemorates the Battle of Northpoint (and encompasses the Battle of Baltimore and the events at Fort McHenry).

According to the National Park Service site:
On September 12, 1914, the 100th anniversary of the British attack against Fort McHenry, 6500 local school children cloaked in red, white and blue, formed a giant replica of the Flag, which was appropriately named, “The Wonderful Human Flag.”

Here was the itinerary for Defenders Day 2012.

A YouTube video of the Defenders Day celebration in 2001 here and 2011 here.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Attack At The Narrows

Fort Knox II near Vincennes, Indiana
Following the relief army to Fort Harrison was a party of thirteen soldiers under Lieutenant Fairbanks of the Seventh Infantry escorting a supply wagon loaded with flour and meat. On 13 September 1812, the supply wagon was ambushed by a Potawatomi war party...near modern Fairbanks, Indiana. Only two men...managed to escape back to Fort Knox alive... . [Wikipedia]

Letter from Zachary Taylor, dated September 13, 1812, from Fort Harrison regarding a possible attack at the Narrows (which is exactly what happened):

See Duff Green post.  Green served at Vincennes and Fort Harrison under General William Henry Harrison.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Dear Uncle Letter

This post, "Dear Uncle," at the "Out Of The Box, Notes From The Archives," blog, was "a letter dated 9 April 1814 used as an exhibit in Lynchburg Chancery Cause 1815-002."  The letter talks about General Andrew Jackson and the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.

For more on the War of 1812 check out the Library of Virginia’s War of 1812 Bicentennial Digital Collection on Virginia Memory.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Captain Who Failed To Perform Impossibilities

Heading towards the Battle of Plattsburg:

Captain Downie was ordered to act in conjunction with the land forces under Sir George Prevost; but the general suffered the brunt of the work to fall on the flotilla, which, unhappily, was barely in a condition to protect itself.

Finding his letters and messages to fail in making Captain Downie perform impossibilities, Sir George had the assurance to cast a slur upon his exertions [and]..."hoped Captain Downie allowed himself to be delayed by nothing but the wind." The insinuation was felt, and ...the Confiance and squadron got underweigh from Isle aux Noirs... .

Friday, September 7, 2012

Claims From The Wages Of War

I wanted to explore what was available on line in the Board of Claims For Losses file.  After Microfilm #1124 was chosen at random, I posted examples of what was found below:

The War of 1812 at Library and Archives of Canada included the War of 1812: Board of Claims for Losses, 1813-1848, RG 19 E5A, Microform: t-1124 (963 pages).

 [Page 5]:

Also check the "Help" file (in this instance for #1124) for a more detailed breakdown of what's included.

More explanations (on Page 12):

Excerpts from a file:

Page 23

From the same file Page 30

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Blog From The British Side

The Family Recorder blog included a post about The War of 1812 From the British Side.  An important point in the post stressed that there are documents in the (British) National Archives that pertain to participants on both sides.  If you take a look at the blog there are examples to be seen.  Very nicely done!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Home Of A Heroic Scout


A memorial to Peter Navarre 1790-1874
Pioneer Citizen of Lucas County
Daring Scout Who Served
The United States
In The War of 1812

This cabin, originally located near Momineetown east of Toledo, was built by Peter Navarre, Jr. during his father's later days.  In 1922, it was moved to Navarre Park in East Toledo by the Peter Navarre Chapter, United States Daughters of 1812.  In 1957, the cabin was re-erected on this site by the Peter Navarre Memorial Association in cooperation with the Toledo Zoological Society and the Anthony Wayne Parkway Board.

Tablet Presented By 
The Historical Society of Northwestern Ohio

September 9, 2012, there will be a Peter Navarre Day at the cabin.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

What Is This Formation?

This illustration was placed after the description of the death of Zebulon Montgomery Pike (1779-1813) who was killed during the Battle of York; is there any special significance?  I don't know.
Source (Page 92)

Saturday, September 1, 2012