The War of 1812: Who Won the War?

Students will learn about the causes, course and consequences of the War of 1812. The causes section will help students understand the geographical location and importance of Upper Canada to the Americans and British, the spark which led to the declaration of war and the role of the First Nations before the war. The course section will focus on the stories of key individuals (British, American, First Nations) and the lack of any decisive military victory. The consequences section will show how very little changed for all sides as is evident in the peace treaty in Ghent in 1814.

Major General Sir Isaac Brock (British)

Secondary Source

http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/on/fortgeorge/edu/edua3.aspx

Primary Source

"Were it not for the death of Gen. Brock & McDonell our victory would have been glorious and really a matter of triumph, but losing in one man, not only the President of the Province but our ablest General, is an irreparable loss, under the existing circumstances of affairs at a time when his moderation & impartiality had united all parties …"

Letter from Thomas G. Ridout (Brown's Point) to his brother Samuel Ridout, October 21, 1812 Thomas Ridout
Reference Code: F 43, box MU 2390
Archives of Ontario
Extract from an original letter

Laura Secord (British, born in America)

Secondary Source

Historica Minutes:  http://www.histori.ca/minutes/minute.do?id=10118

Major General Henry Dearborn (American)

Secondary Source

http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/on/fortgeorge/edu/edua3.aspx#dearborn

Sir George Prevost (British Governor General)

Secondary Source

http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/on/fortgeorge/edu/edua3.aspx#prevost

Primary Source

This quote in 1814 shows the Duke of Wellington’s distrust in Sir George Prevost.

“It is very obvious to me that you must remove Sir George Prevost. I see he has gone to war about trifles with the general officers I sent him, which are certainly the best of their rank in the army; and his subsequent failure and distresses will be aggravated by that circumstance; and will probably with the usual fairness of the public be attributed to it.” Hitsman, J. Mackay (updated by Donald E. Graves), The Incredible War of 1812, Robin Brass Studio, Toronto, 1999. p.267

Major General Roger Hale Sheaffe (British)

Secondary Source

http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/on/fortgeorge/edu/edua3.aspx#sheaffe

 

Tecumseh (First Nations)

Secondary Source

http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/on/fortgeorge/edu/edua3.aspx#tecumseh

Primary Source

Father, listen!—The Americans have not yet defeated us by land—neither are we sure that they have done so by water— we therefore wish to remain here, and fight our enemy, should they make their appearance... Father!—You have got the arms and the ammunition which our great father [the King of England] sent for his red children. If you have an idea of going away, give them to us. Our lives are in the hands of the Great Spirit. We are determined to defend our lands, and if it be his will, we wish to leave our bones upon them.

This speech was repeatedly reported by Benjamin Bussey Thatcher in his works about the North-East Indians; see, Indian Biography, or An historical account of those individuals who have been distinguished among the North American natives as orators, warriors, statesmen and other remarkable characters, New York, J. & J. Harper, 1832, vol. II, p. 237

Tenskwatawa - The Prophet (First Nations)

Secondary Source

http://www.galafilm.com/1812/e/people/prophet.html

William Henry Harrison (American)

Secondary Source

http://www.galafilm.com/1812/e/people/harrison.html

Battle of Queenston Heights

Secondary Source

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0006615

Primary Source

“The indians being most active in climbing up, first came in contact with the enemy and drove them before them for some distance. The Americans however soon rallied…Our troops coming up at the same time opened so good a fire upon the enemy threat they were again obliged to retire. They were immediately pursued by the indians and our Force shouting and hallowing as loud as they could. The Americans now gave way on all sides – many of them jumped off the precipice and many attempted to swim across the River who were drowned or killed by our shot. A white flag was immediately hoisted by the Americans in the battery and they surrendered prisoners of war. We have taken one thousand prisoners - besides killed and wounded…” Letter from Archibald McLean to unknown, October 15, 1812
Ferdinand Brock Tupper, Reference Code: F 1081, box MU 3027 Archives of

Ontario. Extract from an original letter.

The Battle of Moraviantown

Secondary Source

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0005431
Battle of Lundy’s Lane

Secondary Source

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0004809