One of notable Governors of the British colonies that made up British North America during the Anglo-American War of 1812 is a man who helped aid the economic growth despite the war and presided over one of the least known campaigns in the war. Baptized John Coape Sherbrooke on the 29th of April 1764, the only son of William Sherbrooke and Katherine Pyndar. Born and raised in Arnold, Nottinghamshire, England as part of the gentry John, following his formal schooling was commissioned as an Ensign in the 4th Regiment of Foot in 1780, and three years later gazetted Captain transferring to the 85th Regiment ofRead More →

While the major campaigns of the War of 1812 get the spotlight and widely known, and it is true; these were the battles that shaped the course and action of the war those weren’t the be all and ended all of the war. And even today the British capture and occupation of what is now Maine, or as it was two hundred years prior Massachusetts, the War of 1812 remains relatively unknown even to those living in the modern communities today. I would not have even known about this conflict if it were not for my reading and participating in the reenactment of the warRead More →

During the British invasion and subsequent occupation of what is today eastern Maine, there were several forts involved in the action. While many have unique histories, there isn’t much to give each one their blog entry. So I’ve decided, for the sake of you readers, to combine them all into a single post. In the interests of geography, I’ll be moving from east to west if you want to follow along the route on a map. The historic sign is the only remains of Fort Furieuse in Castine, Maine Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Pan F+ @ ASA-50 – FA-1027Read More →

Halifax, it’s hard not to be reminded of the military past of the capital of Nova Scotia, just look up from the downtown and you’ll see the massive hill that rises above the town. Or see the Royal Canadian Navy sailing in and out of the harbor. Or even see the old fortifications that dot the islands in the harbor or see the old gun batteries along the shoreline. The saying goes that a strong defense is a potent offense, except in Halifax’s case where a strong defense is just that, a defense. From the mid 18th-century through to the middle of the 20th-century HalifaxRead More →

While I have of late focused more on British personalities in the War of 1812, I will be making an effort to balance it out. James Lawrence is a tragic tale of the war. Born 1 October 1781 in Burlington, New Jersey. The young James was, for a majority of his youth raised in nearby Woodbury and grew up for the most part without his parents. His mother passed away while he was an infant and his father, a Loyalist to the British Crown, fled to Upper Canada, leaving James behind to be raised by his half-sister. James originally planned to become a lawyer, butRead More →

The history of the Royal Navy is filled with legendary figures both real and imagined. Names like Nelson and Hornblower, Pellew and Aubrey. But there is one name that stands out in the annals of the War of 1812, and that is Philip Broke, or as he became known as Broke of the Shannon. While Broke was one of many captains that served in the blockade of the American coast, his actions turned the luck of the Royal Navy and boosted the flagging morale of the service. Born on 9 September 1776 at Broke Hall in Nacton, England. As the eldest of eleven children, heRead More →

When it comes to photographing sites connected with the naval actions of the war, it can be complicated. Most of the actions take place out on open water, and many don’t have much to photograph especially in the way of ships as many are long gone. Only one ship from the era exists in its original form while another is a rebuild of the historic ship. But if you know where to look there is plenty of things to photograph when it comes to the capture of the Chesapeake. By the summer of 1813, the spirits of the Royal Navy on the North American stationRead More →

While many regiments served with distinction during the Anglo-American War of 1812 on both sides of the fighting, I would not be able to share with you the tales of every single one. As many have histories that stretch well before and after the war and some even, have units that carry on these traditions still today. There is, however, one unit that stands out in the history of the war and of Canada. The 104th (New Brunswick) Regiment of Foot served their king and country both in combat and how they arrived at the main theater of the war. The Fredericton Barracks while notRead More →

Fur Trader, Loyalist, Indian Agent, and Officer. William McKay was born in the Mohawk Valley of New York State in 1772. The son of former Non-Commissioned Officer Donald McKay. His father had seen service during the French-Indian War and fought during the assault on Quebec City. Remaining loyal to the crown the family moved to Upper Canada’s St. Lawerence Valley during the American Revolution settling in what would become Glengarry County in Ontario. William and his older brother, Alexander, joined the North West Company in 1790. McKay would begin to trade throughout the northwest of British North America spending much of his time in theRead More →

One of the unsung heroes of the Anglo-American War of 1812, the burly red-haired Robert Dickson was born to a merchant father in Dumfries Scotland in 1765. After his father’s business had failed, Robert along with his two brothers travelled to Upper Canada to work for their uncle, Robert Hamilton. Hamilton was a wealthy gentleman in Upper Canada, and while the two brothers found success with Hamilton’s business the dull clerical work did not appeal to the adventurous Robert. Robert would find his element in the Northwest upon his posting to Mackinac Island. He expanded his trade network among the northern tribes in both UpperRead More →