June 23, 2013

"On the evening of 21 June, Laura Secord learned of plans for a surprise American attack on British troops..."

"... led by Lieutenant James FitzGibbon at Beaver Dams, which would have furthered American control in the Niagara Peninsula. It is unclear how she became aware of these plans. According to tradition she overheard a conversation amongst the billeted Americans as they ate dinner. As her husband was still recovering from his October injuries, Secord set out herself early the next morning to warn the Lieutenant. She reportedly walked 20 miles (32 km) from present-day Queenston through St. Davids, Homer, Shipman's Corners and Short Hills at the Niagara Escarpment before she arrived at the camp of allied Mohawk warriors who led her the rest of the way to FitzGibbon's headquarters at the DeCew House. A small British force and a larger contingent of Mohawk warriors were then readied for the American attack. Most of the American forces were casualties or taken prisoner in the Battle of Beaver Dams on 24 June. No mention of Secord was made in reports that immediately followed the battle."

200 years ago, in the War of 1812.

36 comments:

Nomennovum said...

Did Ms. Secord have a hot stripper girlfriend?

Jason said...

A woman can walk 20 miles. That doesn't mean it's reasonable to have her carry the M240B tripod and extra ammo plus all her own gear without slowing down the platoon or get medevaced out with heat stroke.

edutcher said...

What, we've gone over to the other side?

And how does Mrs Secord qualify as "women in the military"?

Army wife, maybe, or was he just a militiaman?

And no American would have dammed up those beavers.

OTOH, 7 kids - not one of them named Chelsea.

Ann Althouse said...

"And how does Mrs Secord qualify as "women in the military"?"

I didn't want to create a new tag. It's just broad interpretation of existing tags to avoid creating new tags.

I'm thinking: Where are the great tags that if clicked on would produce a store of raw material that would enable me to write a book?

edutcher said...

OK, just giving a little needle.

Although my sister, who was an Army wife while Hubbo was in the UT ARNG, can attest it's a different thing altogether.

PS Laura Secord walked to carry a message.

Elizabeth Zane had to run through attacking Indians to carry gunpowder to the fort.

Our heroines are better.

(I know, different wars...)

ricpic said...

It isn't enough for Canada to be America's hat?

Nomennovum said...

It is unclear how she became aware of these plans.

Or maybe she was the hot stripper girlfriend of some American military man. Back in the early 19th century, poll-dancing was unknown, but covering yourself in chocolate was common among strippers in those more modest times. Wasn't Ms. Secord also known as "Chocolates"?

Phil 3:14 said...

"200 years ago in the War of 1812"

Someone's math is wrong.

Phil 3:14 said...

"200 years ago in the War of 1812"

Someone's math is wrong.

ironrailsironweights said...

Today she would have to stop a couple of times during her journey for a little touch-up shaving.

Peter

betamax3000 said...

Re: "I'm thinking: Where are the great tags that if clicked on would produce a store of raw material that would enable me to write a book?"

I Humbly Suggest the 'Betamax3000' Tag. Note that you didn't say write a GOOD Book.

Or One That Would Have any Suitable Purpose.

edutcher said...

Nomennovum said...

It is unclear how she became aware of these plans.

Or maybe she was the hot stripper girlfriend of some American military man. Back in the early 19th century, poll-dancing was unknown, but covering yourself in chocolate was common among strippers in those more modest times. Wasn't Ms. Secord also known as "Chocolates"?


No, that was Fanny Farmer, legendary for the bottomless finale to her act.

She always followed Dolly Madison, much admired for her tasty cakes.

Tim said...

Canadians.

Go figure.

Mitchell the Bat said...

The American sneak attack would have succeeded had they approached from over the falls in barrels.

betamax3000 said...

"On the evening of 21 June... 200 years ago, in the War of 1812."

I Combined These in My Mind and First Thought '200 Years ago Today on June 21'. Had to Check the Calendar.

The 23rd.

No Time Displacement. All is Well.


edutcher said...

"Most of the American forces were casualties or taken prisoner"

With a force of mostly Mohawks?

Fort William Henry ring a bell?

Braddock's defeat?

No wonder the Canucks don't talk about it.

Basil said...

Beaver Dams? Is that a euphemism for the excuses women make not to have sex?

The Drill SGT said...

Historian Cecilia Morgan argues that the Secord story became famous in the 1880s when upper-class women sought to strengthen the emotional ties between Canadian women and the British Empire. She writes that they needed a female heroine to validate their claims for women's suffrage.[67]

The Drill SGT said...

Basil said...
Beaver Dams?


The Canuck term for a diaphram

Nomennovum said...

[The Canadians] needed a female heroine [Secord] to validate their claims for women's suffrage.

Ha ha. The Canadian heroine, "Chocolates," was the Mata Hari cum Susan B. Anthony of the Great White North!

exhelodrvr1 said...

Set the beavers free!

ironrailsironweights said...

Beaver Dams?
The Canuck term for a diaphram

Using "beaver" in that context is tragically obsolete today. If you insist on an animal metaphor, "naked mole rat" would be more accurate.

Peter

bagoh20 said...

While certainly possible, it seems unlikely to me she would walk 20 miles to accomplish this. This would be 20 miles through wild country with no convenience stores, walking in a dress as a lone woman in horny indian country. That's a long slog just to deliver a simple message. It seems more likely she would get a horse or someone on a horse to deliver the message, or just text it.

edutcher said...

It say the Mohawks "escorted" her part of the way.

Wonder what the toll was.

bagoh20 said...

"It say the Mohawks "escorted" her part of the way"

Yes, I'll just go with strapping young nearly naked men into the woods for a nice long hike. I simply must deliver it in person.

cokaygne said...

There are Canadians and there are les Canadens. Tomorrow happens to be a holiday for those other Canadians who might have wished that Mrs. Secord's trip failed.

Anyway, she only had to walk 20 miles at the time. Imagine if she had to walk 32 kilometres as Canadians must do nowadays.

Chip S. said...

"200 years ago in the War of 1812"

Someone's math is wrong.


Someone's history is deficient.

traditionalguy said...

So Canada got International Falls, and all we got is a half assed Niahra Falls.

rcocean said...

" Thus terminated one of the most unfortunate and impolitic expeditions that ever was planned. Five hundred men were risked ' to batter down with a twelve and sixpounder, Decoo's stone house, said to be fortified and garrisoned with a company of regulars and sixty to one hundred Indians, to capture or dislodge the enemy, and return by the way of St. David's and Queenstown.'

"This intelligence was derived from a source decided not entitled to confidence, having long previous to this been known by many for an unblushing liar; besides, he had not been within several miles of the post to be attacked, of the strength of which he undertook to give a particular detail. The situation and force of the enemy was this : Lieutenant Fitzgibbon was stationed with a company of regulars at Decoo's house. Captain William I. Kerr, whose official account is within reach, states that he had four hundred and fifty warriors in the action ; Colonel Bishop stated their number at four hundred and eighty, that number having drawn rations at this post the evening before the engagement. Lieutenant-Colonel De Herrn, with three companies of regulars, some Indians and militia, was stationed at St. Catharine's, that is, six miles in the rear of the battle-ground, and ten miles from fort George, with a road leading into the mountain-road at the piece of woods

Stephen A. Meigs said...

Reminds me of the Emily Geiger story.

rcocean said...

No American is happier than I am over our "loss" in the "War of 1812"

Imagine us having to deal with Quebec. Or having another 6-7 uber-liberal "blue states". Its too bad we couldn't have bought Alberta and BC, and otherwise we dodged a bullet.

rcocean said...

In fact, the best thing would've been us to lose the "War of 1812" and hand over New England as reparations.

richard mcenroe said...

Ed Dutcher -- Pretty sure "just a militiaman" could stop a musket ball with his face as well as a "seasoned regular."

edutcher said...

Yes, but would that make her an Army wife?

Kinda doubt it - especially in those days; militia enlistments were notoriously short.

edutcher said...

PS Love the Choom graphics.

Any plans for them?

Mitch H. said...

edutcher: about 25 dead, 50 wounded, another 500 captured. This was a force of regulars, not militia. All in all a monumental cock-up and a serious embarrassment for American arms. Sounds like they got disoriented and scared of an impending Indian massacre - there had been a series of massacres in the Old Northwest earlier that year, including one of an army of Kentucky militia roughly twice the size of the force at Beaver Dams.

I can think of almost no actions of repute to the American cause on the Niagara frontier. It started off as a sordid series of embarrassing defeats and shameful rampages against civilian property (1812-1813), and eventually culminated in a bloody pair of fruitless, meaningless stand-up battles (the Chippawa and Lundy's Lane).