The Battle of Cranberry Creek, fought just north of Alexandria Bay in July of 1813, was a small but dramatic part of the War of 1812 in Upstate New York. In late July 1813, the American Navy learned that several British bateaux loaded with supplies were bound up the St. Lawrence River for Fort Henry at Kingston, Ontario. Major Dimoch of the Forsyth Rifles caught up with the flotilla in Goose Bay on July 20 and sized 15 ships and their cargo. Continue reading
December 19, 2017 marks the 204th Anniversary of the “Tuscarora Heroes.” Near Niagara Falls, in retaliation for the American forces burning the British held Canadian town of Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake) and Fort George ) during the War of 1812, British-Canadian forces and their First Nations allies captured Fort Niagara and attacked the poorly defended Town of Lewiston.
Though a number of civilians were killed during the burning of Lewiston, many more were saved by the actions of warriors from the nearby Tuscarora village who rushed to their aid. Creating a diversion long enough for many civilians to escape, the actions of the “Tuscarora Heroes” has become an important part of Lewiston’s history and shared memory. Continue reading
On August 5 and 6, Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site in Jefferson County, New York held its annual War of 1812 weekend, complete with military encampment, an English Country Dance, Sea Chanteys, and of course reenactments of the Second Battle of Sackets Harbor.
The Second Battle of Sackets Harbor was fought on May 29, 1813 between British forces under the command of Colonel Edward Baynes and American forces under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Electus Backus of the Regular Army and Brigadier General Jacob Brown of the New York State Militia. Continue reading
Willard Sterne Randall’s new book, Unshackling America: How the War of 1812 Truly Ended the American Revolution (St. Martin’s Press, 2017) challenges the notion that Americans fought two separate wars of independence.
Willard Sterne Randall documents a fifty-year-long struggle for economic independence from Britain overlapping two armed conflicts linked by an unacknowledged global struggle. Randall argues that the struggle was all about free trade. Continue reading
The name William Caldwell first caught my attention while researching the August 12, 1781, raid in Wawarsing, in Ulster County, NY. His name was mentioned again in Governor George Clinton’s public papers. It was also in connection to the August raid which, it was believed, was lead by Caldwell (then a Captain). During this raid he led other Tories and Native American allies.
William Caldwell was born around 1750 in Northern Ireland. Prior to the American Revolution, Caldwell came to England’s North American Colonies first settling in Pennsylvania. Continue reading
On Monday July 25, at 6:30 pm at the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site, Don Hicket will give an evening talk on the war of 1812.
Hickey is an award-winning scholar who has authored eleven books and hundreds of articles, mainly on the War of 1812. Continue reading
A cannon dating to the mid 1600s, which had been salvaged from the St. Lawrence River at the head of Carleton Island in the Town of Cape Vincent decades ago, has been returned to New York.
Plans are in the works for a long term loan to allow for the cannon’s display at the Village of Cape Vincent’s East End Park on the shores overlooking Carleton Island, where so much of the cannon’s history played itself out. Continue reading
The Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site will host the 11th Annual War of 1812 Weekend all day Saturday August 1 and Sunday morning August 2, 2015.
The weekend’s demonstrations run from 9 am to 5 pm Saturday followed by an English Country Dance from 7 pm to 9 pm; the living history demonstrations will continue Sunday from 9 am to 1 pm. Admission is free. Highlights include tactical demonstrations on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. Continue reading
The story goes that, in the summer of 1970, a Town of Johnsburg highway crew was straightening a Garnet Lake Road near Crane Mountain in Northern Warren County in the Adirondacks. While removing some of the ancient corduroy logs that once carried the road across a swampy section, they discovered what appeared to be an old cannon.
Vincent Schaefer had the cannon dated at the Watervliet Arsenal and it was determined that it was a swivel gun of the type probably used by Benedict Arnold’s troops during the battle of Valcour Island. Continue reading
The Wolfert’s Roost Country Club in Albany maintains a small dam, pond, and pump house to provide water for their golf course. In the 1980s workers excavating the pond, which is fed by the Maezlandtkill, discovered several sections of ancient wooden and very early cast iron pipe along with iron bands. The pipe and other artifacts were placed in the woods near the club’s tennis courts and forgotten.
Benjamin Prescott, engineer of Albany’s first municipal water system and the man responsible for those pipes, is all but equally forgotten, despite an illustrious career in engineering. Prescott served as an Engineer in the American Revolution, Superintendent of the Springfield Armory, and was the designer of several notable projects, including one of this nation’s first inclined planes (on the Connecticut River). He also conducted a 1790s survey of Niagara Falls, consulted on the Erie Canal, designed the Troy Sloop Lock (the Federal Dam) and more. Continue reading