War of 1812: Wilkinson’s Descent of the St. Lawrence


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James_WilkinsonWhy would Major General James Wilkinson march his troops around the Village of Ogdensburg while his flotilla of more than 300 boats sailed down the St. Lawrence River during the War of 1812?

Learn the answer when John Austin presents Wilkinson’s Descent of the St. Lawrence on Saturday, November 9th, 2 p.m. at the St. Lawrence County Historical Association at the Silas Wright House, 3 East Main St., Canton.  This War of 1812 program is part of the St. Lawrence County Historical Association’s Commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.

The St. Lawrence River was a transportation corridor for both the United States and Great Britain during the War of 1812.  In the spring of 1813 General James Wilkinson, who had been stationed in Louisiana, was given command of the U.S. Army in the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Theater.  When Wilkinson was directed to attack Montreal, the St. Lawrence River was the logical way for him to travel.

The presenter of Wilkinson’s Descent of the St. Lawrence is John Austin, the author of St. Lawrence County in the War of 1812:  Folly and Mischief.  He is a teacher at St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES.  He has researched and compiled lists of soldiers from St. Lawrence County for both the War of 1812 and the American Civil War.  Austin lives in DeKalb and is a member of the St. Lawrence County Historical Association and an avid researcher of St. Lawrence County’s history.

The St. Lawrence County Historical Association at the Silas Wright House is open Tuesday through Saturday noon to 4 p.m., Friday noon to 8 p.m.  Admission to the museum is free; admission to the archives is free for members and children, $2.50 for college students, and $5 for the general public.  The St. Lawrence County Historical Association is located at 3 E. Main St., Canton.  Parking is available in back of the SLCHA, next to the museum’s main entrance.

The St. Lawrence County Historical Association is a membership organization open to anyone interested in St. Lawrence County history.  For more information, or to become a member, call the SLCHA at 315-386-8133 or e-mail info@slcha.org.  War of 1812 programs are made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.  Visit the SLCHA’s website, www.slcha.org, for more information on St. Lawrence County history.

Illustration of James_Wilkinson provided.

 

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