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1812: Uncle Sam’s First War

April 14, 2:00 PM

A lecture by Tom Shanahan

The War of 1812 was fought on Oceans across the globe. Yet half the war’s casualties occurred within 35 miles of the Niagara River. When Congress declared war, two riders were dispatched with the news. One reached Navy Commodore John Rodgers in New York. Rodgers personally fired the war’s first shot, at a British frigate. The second was sent by New York fur trader John Jacob Astor to Canada " thus protecting his trading interests, and warning the British. The Battle of Plattsburgh kept the US intact, by denying British peace negotiators any claim to holding American territory at the war’s end. The Army located an arsenal across the Hudson from Troy. Some men had worked for Troy meat packer Sam Wilson " who stamped his Army provisions “US.” Knowing who prepared the barrels, they said it was from “Uncle Sam.” The War of 1812 truly was " Uncle Sam’s First War.

New York State Library

222 Madison Avenue, 6th Floor
Cultural Education Center
Albany, NY  12230-0001

For further information about this event, please contact:

Cara Jankowsky
Phone: (518) 474-2274
E-mail this person:  

This lecture is a part of the Speakers in the Humanities program.