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"Showdown on Lake Erie: An Eyewitness Recalls' ..." Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Sep 2022 8:58 p.m. PST


"Samuel R. Brown has been described as a "forgotten veteran" of the War of 1812, during which he served in Captain James A. McClelland's company of Volunteer Light Dragoons. He was an eyewitness to the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813, where an American fleet led by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry routed a British squadron. Perry became a national hero overnight, and a month later the United States ended the campaign by defeating British and American Indian forces at the Battle of the Thames in Ontario, Canada.

After the war Brown settled in Auburn, New York, where he published the Cayuga Patriot. Described by his apprentice printer as "an honest, amiable, easy, slip-shod sort of man," Brown immediately branched out into writing books, three of which were about the conflict he called "the Second War of Independence." He was amazingly prolific in this field but died in 1817 at age 42. "On the tented field he was a patriotic soldier," his obituary said. "In the heat of battle, he stood a hero, undismayed by the crash of arms, unappalled by the sight of blood, and proud and fearless in the front of danger."…"

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Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2022 5:53 a.m. PST

2nd war of independence…ridiculous nomenclature….independence from whom…umpteenth war of trying to conquer Canada more like.

Grelber14 Sep 2022 8:52 a.m. PST

Interesting account, though it does not always agree with what I learned. I'd almost forgotten the story of getting Lawrence ad Niagara over Erie bar.


Frederick Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2022 9:36 a.m. PST

Second War of Independence? Exactly who declared war on who?

Agree with Dave – plus – no disrespect – who burned whose capital down?

Joe Legan20 Sep 2022 4:44 p.m. PST

Gentlemen, consider the source and when it was written. The US was fighting so our sailors wouldn't be pressed into service on British ships don't ya know. : )
And no one could fathom that Canada wouldn't want to join the united States.



Brechtel19813 Nov 2022 10:03 a.m. PST

The conquest of Canada was not a stated war aim of the United States.

The US invaded Canada because that was the only way to get at the British on land.

dave836509 Jan 2023 11:49 p.m. PST

The Orders in Counsill related to the ability of British Men of War to stop American ships and impress sailors of British origin were repealed prior to the declaration of war by the US. While news of the repeal did not reach the US until after the declaration of war, Madison's government did nothing to reduce temperatures and seek a quick peace, now that the stated reason for the war was no longer at issue.

The Republicans (Democratic-Republicans, now Democrats) were split on the question of whether the US should attempt the conquest of Canada. While Southern slaveholders were concerned that the absorption of of Canada would tilt the balance between slave and free states, many (if not most) were in favor of an aggressive, expansionist policy. This was best reflected by Thomas Jefferson, who wrote in August, 1812, that

"[t]he acquisition of Canada this year, as far as the neighborhood of Quebec, will be a mere matter of marching; & will give us experience for the attack of Halifax the next, & the final expulsion of England from the American continent."

Meanwhile, Federalist New England was adamantly opposed to the war (due to their economy would be ruined by the British blockade that was sure to come) and caused the first secession crisis.

But the policy of invasion was set upon, and implemented. Badly. If not for the post-peace Battle of New Orleans, which created the impression of victory in the war, the US would have been handed a stinging defeat.

Blutarski10 Jan 2023 12:56 p.m. PST

The conquest of Canada was not a stated war aim of the United States.

True, but other interests in the US did entertain avaricious ambitions in that direction.


Brechtel19815 Jan 2023 10:51 a.m. PST

That is true. But Canada was not one of the reasons that Madison declared war.

Brechtel19818 Jan 2023 4:41 a.m. PST

Jefferson on military matters, as usual, was all wet.

DaleWill Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2023 2:45 p.m. PST

Interesting. I've lived next to Auburn, NY for 20+ years and never heard of him. I'll need to do some research now.

P Carl Ruidl01 Nov 2023 8:25 a.m. PST

An eyewitness?! He was admittedly ten miles away when the action occurred.

He also states: "The killed of both fleets were thrown over board as fast as they fell." The British did this, not the U.S.

The Americans buried their losses on South Bass Island less than a quarter-mile from my job site. American officers were buried in is what is now known as DiRivera Park.

Sorry, but there is nothing in this article that Mr. Brown could not get from an actual individual who did get shot at.

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