APRIL 27, 1813


When the American Congress declared war on Britain on June 18, 1812, former president Thomas Jefferson predicted that “the acquisition of Canada this year, as far as the neighborhood of Quebec, will be a mere matter of marching.” According to Canadian diplomat James Bartleman, “Britain, enmeshed in fighting against Napoleon, was left virtually to the First Nations of the area to defend. This was the case in the Battle of York in which Ojibwa and Mississauga sharpshooters were left to stop the landing of more than a thousand American soldiers as the British troops conducted a strategic retreat out of the capital of Upper Canada.” An American force supported by a naval flotilla landed on the lakeshore to the west and advanced against the town, which was defended by an outnumbered force of regulars, militia, and Ojibway natives. While the Americans took York easily and later razed it, the Indigenous sharpshooters slowed the American advance until the British regulars could retreat. 

  “War of 1812 Bicentennial Highlights Unsung Aboriginal Heroes in Canada's Creation,” Indian Country Today, 6/17/2012, updated 9/13/2018. Retrieved 9/30/2021, 
War of 1812 Bicentennial Highlights Unsung Aboriginal Heroes in Canada's Creation - Indian Country Today
Lithograph: Owen Staples, 1914. Public Domain. Source: Toronto Public Library.

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