The War of 1812

32″ x 20″ Acrylic c on Canvas

The War of 1812, at the time considered a backwater sideshow compared to the Napoleonic Wars raging in Europe, was the conflagration that ultimately gave rise to Canadian national consciousness. The British army, navy, and militia manned a few outposts at the start of the war, hardly a deterrent to the large forces amassed by their American adversaries. Vital to Canada’s resistance and eventual invasion of the United States were the Native allies of the British, comprised of the Great Lakes and Ohio Country Indians. In one of the great ironies of Canadian History, the two men responsible for Canada’s successful defense were neither born in, nor particularly cared for the land we now call Canada. Tecumseh, the Shawnee chief who galvanized one of the largest Indigenous confederacies east of the Mississippi, and spent the majority of his life fighting American expansion into Indian Country, was perhaps one of the most vital players in the war. General Isaac Brock, was a British general sent to oversee Canada’s defense, while longing to be commanding in Europe in the midst of the fight against Napoleon. Both men died in battle, shot by Americans, Brock at Queenston Heights (Niagara) in October of 1812 thwarting an American invasion, and Tecumseh at the Battle of the Thames in Southwestern Ontario in October of 1813 leading a spirited resistance against American invaders. While Brock has a towering stone monument and Tecumseh a secret hidden grave, both men were foundation in creating the nation that is today Canada.