Sunday, June 10, 2012

Laura's Bridge

Laura Secord statue, Valiants Memorial, Ottawa
Laura Secord statue, Valiants Memorial, Ottawa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Part 1 The Past

Laura Secord's husband James was wounded at the battle of Queenston Heights in 1812.

When he didn't turn up after the fighting was over she went to the battlefield and, as we say now - dragged his sorry ass home. 

He was still recovering in May of 1813 when the Americans pushed the British forces, their Indian allies and the Canadian militia to Stoney Creek, (near Hamilton) after the Battle of Fort George.

The Yankee scoundrels then proceeded to occupy Niagara!

In late June the Secords overhead several American officers talking about an upcoming attack.

James Secord had taken a musket ball to the knee at Queenston Heights and still couldn't walk.

 They decided that Laura would have to get the message to the British commander, Lieutenant James Fitzgibbon who was camped at Beaverdams, (near present day Thorold).

Early the next morning, June 22, 1813, Laura kissed her young children, (and probably her own ass), good-bye, pulled on a brown dress with an orange flower print and headed out. 

She stayed off the main roads.

She knew that if the Americans caught her out after curfew she would be shot.

She passed through 30 km filled with wolves, rattlesnakes, disgruntled beavers and a variety of other interesting critters.

Somehow,  she crossed Twelve Mile Creek which, although it isn't the mighty St. Lawrence River, isn't exactly a babbling brook either .

Eventually, tired, dirty and shoeless, she stumbled into an Indian camp.

She spoke enough Iroquois to make herself understood and the surprised warriors led her to Lieutenant Fitzgibbon.

Thanks to her, Fitzgibbon and his men were ready when the attack came.

 The Americans retreated to their side of the Niagara River.

But they didn't take it well.

In retaliation they spent the next 200 years building really cool shopping malls all along the border.

 Next: Part 2 The Present

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