Today Google Canada is celebrating one of the heroines of the War of 1812 on the Canadian Search Engine homepages. At first when I opened the page I thought that it might be about little riding hood, but was pleasantly surprised that it was about the story of a real heroine and not fictitious.
Laura Secord was born on September 13, 1775 in Great Barrington, Province of Massachusetts Bay and passed away on the 17 October 1868 at the age of 93 in Village of Chippawa, Ontario, Canada. She was born as Laura Ingersoll, and her maiden name changed to Secord when she married James Secord.
Why is Laura Secord Famous?
Secord’s father lived in Massachusetts and fought on the side of the Patriots during the Revolutionary War (1775–1783). In 1795 he moved his family to the Niagara region of Upper Canada after he had applied for and received a land grant.
Shortly after, Laura married Loyalist James Secord, who was later seriously wounded at the Battle of Queenston Heights early in the War of 1812. While he was still recovering in 1813, the Americans invaded the Niagara Peninsula, including Queenston. During the occupation, Secord acquired information about a planned American attack, and stole away on the morning of 22 June to inform Lieutenant James FitzGibbon in the territory still controlled by the British.
The information helped the British and their Mohawk warrior allies repel the invading Americans at the Battle of Beaver Dams. Her effort was forgotten until 1860, when the future Edward VII awarded the impoverished widow £100 for her service.
The story of Laura Secord has taken on mythological overtones in Canada; there are many embellished versions of the tale. Secord has been the subject of books, poetry, and plays. Since her death, Canada has bestowed honours on her such as schools named after her, monuments, a museum, a memorial stamp, and a statue at the Valiants Memorial in the Canadian capital.
Source Wikipedia about Laura Secord – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Secord
The Memory and Legend of Laura Secord
Her granddaughter described Secord as being 5 feet 4 inches (163 cm) with brown eyes and a fair complexion. James FitzGibbon wrote she was “of slight frame and delicate appearance”. She was skilled at needlework, dressmaking and cooking. According to biographer Peggy Dymond Leavey, her many grandchildren enjoyed hearing their grandmother tell stories of her early life, and her Anglican faith increased with age.
In his report of the battle, FitzGibbon stated only that he “received information” about the threat; it is possible he omitted mention of Secord to protect her family during wartime. He first wrote of Secord in a certificate dated 26 February 1820, in support of a petition by her husband for a licence to operate a stone quarry in Queenston. In 1827 FitzGibbon wrote:
I do hereby Certify that on the 22d. day of June 1813, Mrs. Secord, Wife of James Secord, Esqr. then of St. David’s, came to me at the Beaver Dam after Sun Set, having come from her house at St. David’s by a circuitous route a distance of twelve miles, and informed me that her Husband had learnt from an American officer the preceding night that a Detachment from the American Army then in Fort George would be sent out on the following morning (the 23d.) for the purpose of Surprising and capturing a Detachment of the 49th Regt. then at Beaver Dam under my Command. In Consequence of this information, I placed the Indians under Norton together with my own Detachment in a Situation to intercept the American Detachment and we occupied it during the night of the 22d. – but the Enemy did not come until the morning of the 24th when his Detachment was captured. Colonel Boerstler, their commander, in a conversation with me confirmed fully the information communicated to me by Mrs. Secord and accounted for the attempt not having been made on the 23rd. as at first intended.
—James FitzGibbon, letter dated 11 May 1827
Laura Secord Google Doodle
Today’s Google Doodle portrays and symbolizes the “Walk Laura Secord” took to warn of the invasion. It celebrates the courage and bravery of Laura Secord the 5 feet 4 inches woman who risked her own life for her love and country! What a remarkable women!