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CNHS - Laura Secord (1775 - 1868) ~ Queenston, Ontario, Canada
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member monkeys4ever
N 43° 09.848 W 079° 03.323
17T E 658081 N 4780877
Quick Description: Located at Laura Secord's homestead at the corner of partition Street and Queenston Street in Queenston.
Location: Ontario, Canada
Date Posted: 5/21/2010 12:28:33 PM
Waymark Code: WM8WFR
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member The Blue Quasar
Views: 23

Long Description:

Laura Secord (1775 - 1868)

This celebrated heroine of the War of 1812 is a renowned figure in Canadian History. Determined to warn the British of an impending attack on Beaver Dams, Secord set out from her home on June 22, 1813, on a dangerous mission. She traveled alone for over 30 kilometres behind enemy lines, struggling to make it to the De Cew farmhouse, where she informed Lieutenant FitzGibbon about the American plan. Later in the 19th century, a first generation of women historians championed Secord's courageous deed with the goal of uncovering and popularizing women's contributions to the history of Canada.

Laura Secord Homestead History

Home of Canada's Most Famous Heroine

Laura Ingersoll Secord, heroine of the War of 1812, came to Upper Canada from Massachusetts with her father and siblings in 1795. Her father, who had sided with the Patriots during the American revolution, came to Canada in hopes of regaining his lost family fortune. The Ingersolls settled in the Niagara Peninsula and opened a tavern. It was in Niagara that Laura met James Secord, a United Empire Loyalist. Two years after her arrival, Laura and James were married. In the early 1800's the Secords moved to Queenston from nearby St. David's. It was from this Queenston homestead that Laura Secord began the journey that has earned her a place in Canadian history.

The Secords had been ordered to billet American soldiers in their home. On the evening of June 21, 1813, Laura and her husband James overheard an American plan of an impending attack on British forces. The Americans were planning an assault against Lt. James Fitzgibbon at Beaverdams. With that position captured, the Americans could control the entire Niagara Peninsula. Upon hearing the plan, the Secords knew that Fitzgibbon must be warned. Injured at the Battle of Queenston Heights the previous October, James could not attempt the journey. Despite the danger and harsh unsettled country, Laura decided she would go to warn Fitzgibbon.

Her journey along a 32 km (20 mile) treacherous route took more than 18 hours to complete. Fearing discovery by American patrols that were in possession of that part of Niagara, Laura Secord daringly made her way to DeCew house on the outskirts of Thorold. The dangers of such a journey were many - wolves, wildcats and rattlesnakes were common in the peninsula at this time, as were unfriendly Native forces. A woman walking alone toward enemy lines risked being arrested or even shot. Overcoming exceedingly hot temperatures and wild, unsettled land, Laura trekked through thick woods and across unbridged streams, tattering her slippers and leaving her feet blistered and bleeding.

At Beaverdams, Laura encountered Native forces who were allies of the British. Upon hearing her news, they accompanied her to DeCew house where she was able to deliver her vital message to Fitzgibbon. As a result, the Native forces, under the command of John Norton and Dominique Ducharme, ambushed the invading Americans and defeated them at the Battle of Beaverdams, June 24, 1813.

Although Laura was due much of the credit for the victory, her heroism was soon forgotten. It wasn't until 1860, almost fifty years later, that Laura received recognition of her act during a visit by Edward, Prince of Wales. She died in 1868 at the age of 93 and is buried in Drummond Hill Cemetery. In 2003, the Minister of Canadian Heritage designated Laura Secord a Person of National Historic Significance for her heroic actions during the War of 1812.

The Secord Homestead in Queenston was reconstructed in 1971 by Laura Secord Inc. Open for tours during the summer months, the Homestead features authentic furnishings of the 1812 period. The company's signature chocolates and ice cream are available in an annex building, which was built where the original summer kitchen is thought to have been located.

In 1998, through the generous gift of Laura Secord Inc., the Laura Secord Homestead became part of the public trust, enabling The Niagara Parks Commission to ensure the Homestead's preservation and safekeeping for future generations.

Information taken from: Visit website

Classification: National Historic Person

Province or Territory: Ontario

Location - City name/Town name: Queenston

Link to Parks Canada entry (must be on www.pc.gc.ca): [Web Link]

Link to HistoricPlaces.ca: Not listed

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