Tag Archives: Old Fort Niagara

War of 1812: The New Brunswick Regiment of Foot


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The 104th (New Brunswick) Regiment of Foot in the War of 1812Best known for its perilous Winter March through the wilderness of New Brunswick to the battlegrounds in Upper Canada, the 104th (New Brunswick) Regiment of Foot was a British unit originally raised to defend the Maritimes, with members drawn from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Upper and Lower Canada, and the British Isles.

In 1813, the regiment was sent to raid the American naval base in Sackets Harbor, New York, and then moved to the Niagara Peninsula to continue its fight against the invading Americans. Continue reading

Songs of War of 1812 POWs Highlighted at NY History Conference


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The annual NY State History conference, held this year at Niagara University, launched with a song from a POW imprisoned in Dartmoor, marking the conference theme on the War of 1812.

The British captured teen-aged Thomas B. Mott in 1813 and he struck back in song, satirizing his captors, decrying the harsh conditions and reign of lice, and stoutly defending presidents over kings. Continue reading

K-12 Teachers Invited to Summer Residential Program


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Niagara University is now accepting applications from K-12 teachers nationwide for a summer program entitled Crossroads of Empire: Cultural Contact and Imperial Rivalry at Old Fort Niagara. The week-long residential sessions, which take place July 11-15 and July 18-22, 2011 at Old Fort Niagara and Niagara University, have been made possible by funding obtained from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Directed by Thomas A. Chambers, Ph.D., chair of Niagara University’s history department, the workshops are focused on the vital history that emanated from Old Fort Niagara, one of most significant and well-preserved 18th century historic sites in North America. Fort Niagara served as an important crossroads between the empires of Great Britain, France, the Haudenosaunee (the native people who inhabited what is now much of New York state and surrounding areas), and, later, the United States as they battled each other for control of the North American continent. The Fort threatened American territory during the Revolution, was occupied by both sides during the War of 1812, and then a peace treaty secured the Fort and region for the United States.

This workshop will immerse NEH Summer Scholars in the world of 18th century life, from both the Native American and European perspective. Participants will interact with historic interpreters, clamber about ramparts dating to the 1700s, handle beaver pelts and trade goods like fishhooks and beads, and perhaps even fire a musket. One unique feature will be an overnight stay at the French Castle, the three-story stone fortress and trading post perched above the crashing waves of Lake Ontario that dates back to 1726. By week’s end NEH Summer Scholars will understand the perspective of the Iroquois people who first inhabited this region, as well as the struggles of ordinary European soldiers who bled and died to control Fort Niagara.

Teachers of grades K-12 at schools in the United States or its territorial possessions, or Americans teaching in foreign schools where at least 50 percent of the students are American nationals, are eligible for this program.

Teachers selected to participate as NEH Summer Scholars will receive a stipend of $1,200 at the end of the residential workshop session. Stipends are intended to help cover travel expenses to and from the project location, books, and ordinary living expenses.

The deadline for applications is March 1, 2011.

For eligibility and application information, call 716.286.8091, e-mail crossroads@niagara.edu or visit neh.niagara.edu.

Niagara University is located 11 miles south of Old Fort Niagara.

French and Indian War Reenactment at Old Fort Niagara


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On July 3-5, more than 2,300 historic reenactors will bring the 250th anniversary of the French and Indian War to life at Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown, NY. Hosts of authentically-costumed 18th century British and French soldiers and American Indian warriors will recreate historic encampments and the “Siege of Fort Niagara” of July 1759. The activities include land battles and drills, ships, historically authentic games for the children, and an artillery bombardment with fireworks.

The collection of Old Fort Niagara’s military architecture includes the oldest building in the Great Lakes region – the “French Castle.” The fort is a New York State and National Historic Landmark site that overlooks Lake Ontario, which played a strategic role in the French and Indian War and the War of 1812.

The best way to reach the big event that is the 2009 “Signature Event” of the New York State 250th French and Indian War Anniversary Commemoration Commission is to follow one of America’s Byways, the 518-mile Great Lakes Seaway Trail that parallels New York and Pennsylvania’s freshwater shorelines.

The swift waterways and footpaths of power along the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Niagara River and Lake Erie in New York and Pennsylvania helped decide the outcome of the French & Indian War. A journey along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail offers an authentic American experience of the landscapes of history, well-kept military architecture, battlefields and waterfront staging areas. This byway is also home to two Indian Nations that maintain their distinct cultural traditions.

Battle reenactments, military and suttler encampments, and special events take place year-round at Great Lakes Seaway Trail historic destinations including Old Fort Niagara; Fort Ontario (Oswego, NY); the Sackets Harbor Battlefield; and the site of Fort LaPresentation (Ogdensburg, NY). Library and museum archives help visitors trace their genealogical roots grounded in the byway’s historic landscape. Military and maritime history and architecture (the byway also includes a cluster of Frank Lloyd Wright designed properties) are popular travel themes for the Great Lakes Seaway Trail byway. Learn more about the byway at www.seawaytrail.com or call 315-646-1000.

2009 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Experience Series


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A presentation by acclaimed French & Indian War reenactor Major George A. Bray III will present “Struggle for an Empire, The French and Indian War along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, 1755-1760” at 6 pm at the Sackets Harbor Battlefield this Thursday, May 21, 2009. Bray will relate tales of the 250-year-old conflict to open the 2009 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Experience Series. Bray will appear in period costume, portraying an officer of Rogers’ Rangers, an elite rapid response light infantry unit known for its bold military tactics. Rogers’ Rangers became the chief scouting unit of the British Crown forces during the war fought from 1754 to 1760.

In addition to being a respected French & Indian War historian, Bray is a Fellow of the Company of Military Historians, and an author writing for such publications as Early America Review. He has written about various aspects of the war from the use of poisoned bullets by the French to scalping. Bray’s historic collection includes original newspapers, documents, books, prints and weaponry.

As event commander at historic Fort Niagara in Youngstown, NY, Bray will welcome hundreds of reenactors for the July 3-5 New York State Signature Event for the 250th French & Indian War Anniversary Commemoration. Bray says, “My mission is to portray 18th century military life for the education of visitors to historic sites and to perpetuate the significant history of the French and Indian War and Rogers’ Rangers.”

Bray serves with Seaway Trail Foundation President Teresa Mitchell on the New York State French and Indian War 250th Anniversary Commemorative Commission. The $5 admission for May 21st presentation will benefit the nonprofit Seaway Trail Foundation that promotes learning experience tourism along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, one of America’s Byways noted for authentic American experiences. Learn more at www.seawaytrail.com or call 315-646-1000.

Contact Period Workshops For K-12 Teachers


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A National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant awarded to Dr. Thomas Chambers, history professor at Niagara University, will support a pair of week-long workshops to be held this summer for K-12 school teachers. The workshops, set to take place July 13 through July 17, 2009 and July 20 through July 24, 2009 at Old Fort Niagara in Niagara Falls, NY, will focus on American history and culture, specifically the history of European-Native American interaction. Classroom teachers and librarians in public, private, parochial, and charter schools, as well as home-schooling parents are eligible to participate.

The program was created by the NEH to encourage better understanding of American history and culture. Stipends cover most expenses for participants, see: http://neh.gov/projects/landmarks-school.html for eligibility requirements.

For more information visit www.niagara.edu/crossroads/