Fort Niagara in New York State

What Was The War Of 1812 and Did Canada and The U.S. Fight?

On October 13, 1812 war came to the Niagara region when American troops crossed the Niagara River from Fort Niagara in the U.S. in the hopes of capturing the town of Newark (now Niagara on the Lake) in then Upper Canada. The picture above is of Fort Niagara at the tip of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario as seen from the other side of the river and Canada.

French forces built the Fort in 1726. It was erected as a permanent fortification with the construction of the impressive “French Castle.” However, Britain gained control of Fort Niagara in 1759 after a nineteen-day siege, during the French and Indian War. Fort Niagara is the oldest continuously occupied military site in North America.

Garrisoned by American troops from 1796, when the British turned the fort over to the Americans. But because Fort Niagara was an important American staging area near the outlet of the Niagara River into Lake Ontario during the War of 1812, it was captured by British and Canadian forces on 19 December 1813, and again held by the British/Canadian troops.

The War of 1812 ended on Christmas Eve 1814 and once again, the British gave Fort Niagara back to United States, and American troops reoccupied it on May 22, 1815.

The war was a bloody war brought on not by Canada, which was a British Territory, but by Britain and the U.S. The British were blocking the U.S. sea ports along the east coast, which caused President McKinley the 25th President of the United States to declare war on Britain. He was later assassinated on September 14, 1901 at Buffalo, New York, just a few miles from Niagara Falls.

Here’s some additional information on the War of 1812 between Canada and the U.S.

Battle of Lundy’s Lane
Exploring the War of 1812 battlefields in Niagara
More on the Battle of Lundy’s Lane
The War of 1812 on the Niagara River


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