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WAR OF 1812

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Includes sections on The Invasion of Canada, Washington DC, the Star-Spangled Banner, New Orleans, and the Treaty of Ghent, among other things.

Here are seven fine sites that cover the whole War of 1812 in general, with lots of facts about people and places.

Gala's War of 1812 PBS's War of 1812 Smithsonian/NMAH War of 1812
Gala Films War of 1812 logo War of 1812 WNED & PBS Smithsonian War of 1812





War of 1812 Canadian Website The War of 1812 from Schmoop
Laura Secord, Canadian Patriot Royal Marines




War of 1812 ThinkQuest site Military Society's History of the War
Battle 1812Ft McHenry Flag







...and of course, the huge, fact-filled, Wikipedia War of 1812 page!

Here are other great sites about the War of 1812, covering specific topics:Military Society's History of the War "From 1812 to 1815, the inhabitants of what was to become Canada fought side by side with the British forces and their First Nation allies to defend their lands against the Americans. The battles were waged on land and sea on both sides of the border. The impact of the War was felt by all. This website is dedicated to make the surviving records and artefacts from this time period available to everyone. There is much to discover about the War of 1812 era." This Canadian Heritage site has over 1,000 archaeological artifacts (buttons, musket balls, knives, pieces of uniforms, etc - real battlefield archaeology), original letters and other documents, period battle art, much more. Talk about Primary Sources!


Causes and battles of the War of 1812 A one page summary of the War.


War of 1812 pages from the National Post. Canadian newspaper has 20 excellent articles discussing different aspects of the war. How Native warriors saved Canada ("Aboriginal warriors saved Canada from U.S. annexation during the War of 1812"), the Royal Navy's central role, unsung heroines, re-enactors (" Unlike their weapons, Niagara’s re-enactors will perform in all weather"), Canadian nationhood, and Who Won the War. High-quality fact-filled writing here!


History Channel - War of 1812 Summary, seven videos of interesting people and facts, and two galleries.


James Madison Speech - War Message of 1 June 1812 This is the text of President Madison's message to Congress, asking for a declaration of war against Great Britain. War was declared on the 17th of that month.


Naval War of 1812 from Naval Heritage and History Command, USN. Contains photros, art, contemporary journals and logs, biographies of 14 officers of the Naval Service, videos, tons of links to information about ship types, naval trivia, other 1812 sites.


USS Constitution and HMS Java USS Constitution official home page. Learn about this famous frigate's history, and take a virtual tour of the recently restored ship. Living history.

USS Constitution fights HMS Java off the coast of Brazil. The War of 1812 was one of several spinoffs of the Napoleonic Wars.

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The Invasion of Canada

Canada and the War of 1812 Summary, bios of several British and Canadian heroes, and some beautiful postage stamps.


Push on, brave York volunteers!Push on, brave York volunteers!

Toronto was called York at that time.

A fanciful and romantic depiction of the death of General Brock at the Battle of Queenston Heights by John David Kelly (1862 - 1958) published 1896. Online.

General Sir Isaac Brock, the general who defended Canada with a mixed force of British regulars, Canadian volunteers who were often United Empire Loyalists (who left America because they were loyal to the King), and an alliance of Natives/First Nations fighters led by Tecumseh and other famous warriors.



200th Commemoration of the War of 1812 A Canadian explains what the War of 1812 means to Canadians.


Four maps of the American invasion of Canada Campaign maps of battles.


Address to the Inhabitants of the Upper Province of Canada The Loxleys & The War of 1812, A review by The Canadian Homeschooler. "If you are looking for a good way to read about the war of 1812, look no further." “The story follows the Loxleys, a Canadian family living in the Niagara peninsula as they’re torn apart by the American invasion of Canada in 1812, and the subsequent war that raged across both countries as British troops, Canadian militia, and First Nation warriors sought to thwart the expansionist plans of the American government.” Available as a graphic novel, an ebook (several formats), "motion comic movie – a 45 minute adaptation of the comic book" (free to Canadians), a school play, an app for iPad or droid, a study guide, and a Timeline of the War of 1812, which is very well done. If you're looking for a human-face Canadian POV of the war, including the experience of being occupied, look no further.



Tecumseh a short and simple site about this great man, for elementary kids.


Chief Tecumseh, from Indigenous Excerpts from his speech to unite the nations, and bios of his brother and others.


Tecumseh A short bio from a good Native school site run by the Jatibonicu Taino Tribal Nation of Puerto Rico. The Taino are one of the original peoples of the West Indies.


Tecumseh's Unification Crusade Learn why Tecumseh allied with the British to resist the Americans. Learn about his quest to unite all the nations in self-defense.


Tecumseh The comprehensive Wikipedia article.


Shawnee fact sheet for kids. Tecumseh was of the Shawnee Nation.


Iroquois Battle Fellow Iroquois on the Niagara Frontier During the War of 1812 Mohawks fought alongside the British and Canadians, while Oneidas and Senecas fought for America. A sad day for the Iroquois Confederacy.


Battle of Lake Erie part of the Erie Maritime Museum site. Very good detailed site about Oliver Hazard Perry, building warships on the Great Lakes, how ships fought, the nine battles. “We have met the enemy and they are ours. Two ships, two brigs, one schooner and a sloop.”


Heroes of the War of 1812 Honors Canadian heroes, men and women, white, Native, and African-Canadian. Short descriptive bios of 13 British and Canadians. Worth reading.


Kentucky volunteers Thousand of Kentuckians formed companies and walked north to fight for the U.S. around the Great Lakes. Here is a short article about their battles from the Kentucky National Guard. These guys were tough as nails.


Laura Secord stampLaura Secord walked 20 miles through the woods in the dark to warn British forces of an American attack. "The War of 1812 was very personal to Laura. Like her husband and many others in Upper Canada, Laura had been born in the United States and had relatives across the line. But she was fiercely loyal to the British Crown, and was committed to the defence of the colony." This well made Canadian site has a short dramatic video of the incident as well as the written story.



The Coloured Corps: African Canadians in the War of 1812 Very interesting well written story of this little-known group of patriots who stood up for Canada during the war.


Ohio in the War of 1812 from the State Historical Society. Briefly describes the War's causes and events with emphasis on Ohio.


1812 Bicentennial Logo of the Town of Tecumseh, Ontario. Chief Tecumseh is a national hero of Canada.


War of 1812 - Real People's History as written by a Canadian War of 1812 re-enactor. The site is primarily about Native Americans/First Nations peoples and the War of 1812, with emphasis on the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations/Iroquois). There are videos, articles on the history from the Haudenosaunee point of view, maps, and books to buy. There is a section discussing which native nations fought on which sides in the Canadian part of the War. There's a lot of useful information in here. Thanks to Zig Misiak for the email about his site.


War of 1812 well worth commemorating An editorial in The Globe and Mail, Canada's best known newspaper.

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Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore, Washington, DC

Fort McHenry bombardment


Battle of Baltimore from Wikipedia, covers Fort McHenry and the Star Spangled Banner. It also describes the taking of Washington DC, the Battle of Bladensberg, and the land fighting around Baltimore. Excellent piece.


Battle of North Point - North Point, Maryland -- September 12, 1814. Nice painting by Don Troiana sits above a good description of this pivotal battle, which stopped the British land assault on Baltimore. The font's kind of small but you can enlarge it for easier reading. This site brought to you by the California National Guard.


Fort McHenry National Park Service site covers the whole history of the famous fort. The British land and sea attack is covered in fine detail with lots of pictures of the fort, the "bombs", etc.


Burning of Washington Wikipedia article with many citations does a good job of covering the whys, whos, whats, wheres, and whens. A good read.


The British Burn Washington, DC, 1814 from Eyewitness to History is a one page account, with plenty of eyewitness first-person accounts by soldiers and others who were there.


The thunderstorm that saved Washington Washington Post weather article tells how the high winds and torrential downpour of this monster storm put out the fires that were burning down Capitol Hill, the White House, and other parts of the city. "Great God, Madam! Is this the kind of storm to which you are accustomed in this infernal country?"


The Burning of Washington - Dolley Madison's own written account. First person account in a letter to her sister. Describes everything that happened to her. People could write really well in those days!


Dolley Madison Biography from the National First Ladies Library. She was one of the most famous first ladies. Her many accomplishments are listed here.


Dolley Madison This bio focuses on her life and social accomplishments as the grande dame of DC society for many years.


PRIMARY DOCUMENTS | Saving History / Dolley Madison, the White House and the War of 1812 This is a Secondary-level lesson plan from the White House Historical Association. Uses primary historical documents (letters) and contains everything needed to do an assignment about the burning of Washington and the Madisons' actions. Premade questions and activities make this easy for the teacher.


Star Spangled 200: The Official Site of the Maryland Bicentennial Commission. LESSON PLANS by the truckload! Indexed by grade and subject, also a long list of other related lesson plan sites.

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Gulf Coast and the Battle of New Orleans


Battle of New Orleans Map from Louisiana 101.


Battle of New Orleans Map from NPS.


Battle of New Everything about this battle is on this site somewhere. Beautiful informative graphics. The site is VERY comprehensive but the white on blue layout gets annoying fast, also with that small and crowded type up top you may have to squint.


Chamlette National Historical Park site from NPS. Nice article about the battle.


Jean Lafitte Wikipedia article is the best of the kid-appropriate articles about him. Romantic myths aside, he was a pirate, a slaver, and a smuggler. He was also a patriot who brought his men, weapons, and expertise to stand beside Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans - after turning down an offer from the British. Nothing else he did can tarnish that fact. In the end he was expelled from the area for his various crimes. Interesting story.


Brief History of Tennessee in the War of 1812 from Tennessee State Library and Archives. Chronological account of everything the Tennessee Militias did in the war. Andrew Jackson led these men and some US Infantry in the southern area of the war. Includes fighting various Native nations (Some were allied with Tecumseh and the British, or with the Spanish; and some fought for Jackson.), fighting Spain in West Florida, and the Battle of New Orleans. Like their neighbors in Kentucky, these Volunteers fought hard and well.


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Treaty of Ghent and the Aftermath


Treaty of Ghent page from Social Studies for Kids is a brief and simple site with some good links.


Aftermath - Reliving History, the War of 1812 from ThinkQuest. Good one page summary of the Treaty of Ghent's terms and what came after the war.


Treaty of Ghent video from the PBS show, The War of 1812.


Treaty of Ghent The original text converted from microfilm, from Primary Documents in American History (which is in our Social Studies > History section, too!). The text begins about 1/3 of the way down the page.


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Books about the War of 1812

Our crack team of bibliophiles read every one of the books below and found them good. Otherwise, they wouldn't be in this list, would they? All links go to the books' listings on Amazon. All quotes from Amazon, except for Searching for the Forgotten War - 1812 Canada.


1812: War with America by Jon Latimer "In the first complete history of the War of 1812 written from a British perspective, Jon Latimer offers an authoritative and compelling account that places the conflict in its strategic context within the Napoleonic wars. The British viewed the War of 1812 as an ill-fated attempt by the young American republic to annex Canada. For British Canada, populated by many loyalists who had fled the American Revolution, this was a war for survival. The Americans aimed both to assert their nationhood on the global stage and to expand their territory northward and westward."


Amateurs, To Arms!: A Military History Of The War Of 1812 (Major Battles & Campaigns) by John R. Elting "Begun in ignorance of the military reality, the War of 1812 was fought catch-as-catch-can with raw troops, incompetent officers, and appallingly inadequate logistics... vivid, penetrating account of how the young republic fought and nearly lost its 'Second War for Independence.' "


Invasion of Canada, The: Battles of the War of 1812 by Ronald Dale "The War of 1812 played a major role in creating a Canadian identity. This popular history of the war focuses on the major events and battles: the capture of Detroit, the Battle of Queenston Heights, the taking of York and Niagara, the victory at Chateauguay, the Battle of Lundy's Lane, and the battles waged at sea. It is generously illustrated with archival images as well as with contemporary colour photography taken at historical sites associated with the war. Ronald Dale is a historian and the Superintendent of Niagara National Historic Sites, including Fort George and Brock's Monument."


Searching for the Forgotten War - 1812 Canada by Patrick Richard Carstens and Timothy R. Sanford A superb book that goes through every battle and incident in Canada. The authors seem to have gone to every site where anything happened. The book has many photos, describes each area, what happened, any monuments there. Twenty-five chapters, absolutely amazing for anyone who wants to walk the ground.


The American Invasion of Canada: The War of 1812's First Year by Pierre Burton "How could a nation of eight million fail to subdue a struggling British colony of 300,000? In this remarkable account of the war’s first year, Pierre Burton transforms history into an engrossing narrative that reads like a fast-paced novel. Drawing on memoirs, diaries, and official dispatches, the author gets inside the characters who fought the war—the common soldiers, the generals, the bureaucrats and the profiteers, the traitors, and the loyalists. This is a gripping account of a fascinatingly complex war that shaped the boundaries of America as we know them today."


The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies by Alan Taylor. In this vivid narrative, Pulitzer Prize– winning historian Alan Taylor tells the riveting story of a war that redefined North America. In the early nineteenth century, Britons and Americans renewed their struggle over the legacy of the American Revolution. In this second confrontation, soldiers, immigrants, settlers, and Indians fought to determine the fate of a continent. Would revolutionary republicanism sweep the British from Canada? Or would the British contain, divide, and ruin the shaky republic? Moving beyond national histories to examine the lives of common men and women, The Civil War of 1812 reveals an often brutal (sometimes comic) war and illuminates the tangled origins of the United States and Canada.


To Stand and Fight Together: Richard Pierpoint and the Coloured Corps of Upper Canada by Steve Pitt "In 1812, a 67-year-old black United Empire Loyalist named Richard Pierpoint helped raise "a corps of Coloured Men to stand and fight together" against the Americans who were threatening to invade the tiny British colony of Upper Canada..."


spinning gold star Union 1812: The Americans Who Fought the Second War of Independence by A. J. Langguth "By the author of the acclaimed Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution, a gripping narrative that tells the story of the second and final war of independence that secured the nation's independence from Europe and established its claim to the entire continent. The War of 1812 has been ignored or misunderstood. Union 1812 thrillingly illustrates why it must take its place as one of the defining moments in American history."


...and that's all for now!

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