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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Anonymous said...

What an incredible woman, you wouldn't mess with her!
I love the way the Americans retaliated!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

But the cow, Francie . . . what about the COW? Truth or fiction?

When we were down in Toronto a few years ago, we visited Queenston Heights and the Laura Secord House. So wonderful!

Jane said...

She was an amazing can-do woman. I so love statues - they're my favourite thing to check out when I'm visiting a new city.

The Episcopagan said...

The cow.

I had pretty well given up on the cow, then I read someplace in the last year that there may be some evidence that she took a cow with her after all.

After I read that one article I didn't hear anything more about it so for now I accept that she didn't have one with her. I have decided it is likely the story that she lost her shoes is true though as women's shoes were very flimsy.

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

You see, she asked for directions and got to where she intended to go. If you want a job done, get a woman to do it :)

Introverted Art said...

Like Jane said, I also am very fond of statues. I just love that you share all these amazing bits of History. Glad to hear she might have taken the cow with her ;-)

momto8 said...

a fun interesting story...
the malls are an interesting twist too!

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