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New York State History | America Through the Centuries | 19th Century America | War of 1812

1812: Uncle Sam's First War

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.

This lecture is available from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2015

Can be tailored to a high school audience

Setup Needed

  • Computer and projection screen for PowerPoint required

Mr. Tom Shanahan

President, The Shanahan Group - Government Relations and Communications

Tom Shanahan has more than 25 years experience in politics, lobbying, and public relations. Since 1990, he has been a registered lobbyist.

Before that, he worked at one of Manhattan's leading public relations agencies. A former Congressional press secretary and campaign staffer, he holds a BA in Political Science from SUNY Geneseo.

His pro-bono work for the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind was recognized in the Washington Post, and the Albany Times Union.

Telephone: (518) 732-3312
Address: 4019 County Route 21
Schodack Landing, NY  12156
Albany County
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