Lakehead University Visit

CCV members delivered a ‘hands on’ session about the War of 1812 for Professor David Ratz’s Canadian History Class at Lakehead University on February 15th 2013. Professor Ratz did a brief introduction and a question and answer session took place for 1 1/2 hours. We had an enthusiastic reception.







Living Canada’s history today – it’s a thrill!



December 2012 Issue of Kayak takes a look at the War of 1812

Kayak is the version of Canada’s History Magazine (formerly, “The Beaver”) for kids.  The historic Canadian Corps of Voyageurs gets honourable mention of page 27 – check it out here.

Lovers of history should visit Canada’s History website often, and the CCV suggests we all especially check out the War of 1812 Special Features where several articles, and links to reading lists as well as other informative resources may be found.

Read about it and celebrate – it’s your history, Canada.

HMS Bounty, We Bid You Farewell

The effects of Hurricane Sandy will be felt for some time and our hearts go out to all those affected by its tragic consequences.  Of particular note to those of us in the CCV, is the loss of the HMS Bounty and potentially two of her crew.

MHS Bounty in Thunder Bay in 2010

The Canadian Corps of Voyageurs was very pleased to take part in the welcoming of the HMS Bounty during her visit here to Thunder Bay in 2010.  The modern day replica of its famous namesake, HMAV (His Majesty’s Armed Vessel) Bounty, was built in 1960 for the movie “Mutiny on the Bounty”.  Many of us are familiar to some degree with the historical account concerning the original ship and crew in Tahiti in 1789, but perhaps we are not all as familiar with the modern ship and crew.  Purchased by the HMS Bounty Organization in 2001, she was first refitted and restored to full readiness, refitted again in 2005 for her role in “Pirates of the Caribbean II: Dead Man’s Chest”, and refitted again following the movie once again as the Bounty replica.

Since 2007, HMS Bounty has served as a living museum, focussed on teaching the nearly lost arts of square rigged sailing and seamanship.  As a working 18th century square rigger, she travelled extensively from one event to another and was on her way “home” to St. Petersburg, Florida to provide dockside tours scheduled in early November.  Working her way around Hurricane Sandy proved fateful and she succumbed to the winds and the waves early Monday morning and sank off the North Carolina coast.  Fourteen of the sixteen crew members were saved.  Captain Robin Walbridge remains missing as of the writing of this post and crew member Claudene Christian has died as a result of her injuries.  We mourn their loss.


The acquisition of Canada, this year, as far as the neighbourhood 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.”

Thomas Jefferson, Aug 4th 1812.

Source: From a letter to William Duane, 1760 – 1835, American journalist


Great Britain, in an effort to seek a more practical relationship with the US, repealed the Orders-in-Council.

Source: Taylor, James P. The Cardinal Facts of Canadian History Toronto, Hunter Rose:1899.


US declares war against the United Kingdom.

Since the close of the Revolutionary War, the relationship between the US and Great Britain was a tenuous one at Coinstar point best.  When America won her freedom, she obviously expected to be treated as an equal on the international scene.  Trade restrictions imposed by both Britain and France, the practice of impressment practiced by the British Navy, differences in opinion and practice with regards to the status of First Nations peoples in North America, as well as a host of other reasons rooted in both fact and fiction all provided the prelude to war.

If there was a catalyst for the actual declaration of war, it could be argued to be President James Madison’s correspondence to Congress on June 1st 1812.  The deliberations that were spawned both in the US House of Representatives and the Senate resulted in the declaration of war signed by Madison June 18th 1812.

See a transcription and image of this declaration here.



The Lower Canadian Parliament meets and soon grants L12,000 for drilling and militia, L20,000 for means of defence, and L30,000 for the Governor’s use, should war be declared.

Source: Taylor, James P. The Cardinal Facts of Canadian History Toronto, Hunter Rose:1899.